The reputation of the local taxi industry has long been tainted by incidents of some unscrupulous taxi drivers cheating tourists’ money.
Yesterday Nazri, the Minister of Tourism and Culture, has revealed that Uber and GrabCar were approved by the Cabinet and regularised by Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
One of the main reasons behind this approval was to curb the rampant cheating of taxi drivers towards the tourists.
According to Free Malaysia Today, the Malaysian taxi industry is notorious for cheating tourists, and this negative perception has affected the Malaysian tourism. But with Uber and GrabCar widely available, tourists no longer fear coming to Malaysia as taxi is not the only choice.
“Tourists can use their phones and straight away order a cab from Uber or GrabCar,” said Nazri.
Nazri hoped that taxi industry could understand the reason behind this action because Malaysia had to move forward.
He also urged taxi services to stop playing the victim and blame the government, and start to diversify if they want to survive in this industry.
“They’re popular all over the world but when it comes to Malaysia, we stop it. We can’t do that and if local taxis are not happy about it then that’s just too bad,” said Nazri.
“We also encourage local taxis to have their own apps. It’s not our fault if local taxis are left behind. Everyone has to move forward and taxi industries are no exception,” Nazri added.
Generally, majority of public members who have used GrabCar and Uber were satisfied with the services provided. The price quoted was fare and the ride was comfortable.
On the other hand, some passengers who had used taxi services before were charged with exorbitant prices despite the short distance travelled. Not so long ago, two French tourists in Malaysia were charged RM 800 by a taxi driver for a 6 km trip.
If we’re being honest here, what Nazri said shed some truth to it. In our fast-paced society, staying in the comfort zone is no longer an option. So time to get out there and beat the competition, instead of complaining about it.