INDIVIDUAL LICENCES AND INSURANCE SCHEME: Drivers pledge better service as income and productivity will rise
KUALA LUMPUR: THE various incentives announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for taxi drivers will enable them to lead a better life and enhance their productivity.
In welcoming the initiatives, Malaysian Taxi Owners and Drivers Association secretary Hiew Pow Man said the announcement was something they had been eagerly awaiting.
Hiew said taxi drivers could have better earnings now that a new model, aimed at enabling more drivers to get individual permits, is being put in place.
There were 42,947 taxi permits held by taxi corporations to date, while 32,663 were issued to individuals.
"Taxis are a key part of public transport in Malaysia and taxi drivers are the country's ambassadors to foreigners.
"With the introduction of a new scheme, hopefully the drivers will not refuse to use meters and overcharge passengers to earn an extra buck," Hiew said yesterday.
On Sunday, at the Teksi Rakyat 1Malaysia (TR1Ma) gathering, Najib announced that a system to provide better job satisfaction for taxi drivers and a more efficient service for passengers was being devised.
These include giving more licences to individual taxi drivers, vouchers worth RM520 for two pairs of new tyres and a personal accident insurance scheme.
Under the insurance scheme, taxi drivers will receive benefits in cases of death by accident (RM10,000), permanent disability due to accident (RM10,000), medical treatment costs due to accident (RM500), funeral expenses for death by accident (RM1,500) and funeral expenses for normal death (RM1,000).
Hiew said the association was very grateful to the prime minister for being concerned about the welfare of taxi drivers in the country.
"The announcements is proof that our prime minister is very concerned about the people and the issues surrounding them.
"He has done a lot for the people and now he is addressing the issues faced by taxi drivers."
Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Taxi Drivers' Associations president Datuk Aslah Abdullah said with the government's initiatives, taxi drivers should also play their part in improving their services.
"We should not just sit down and expect more aid from the government.
"Taxi drivers need to prove their worth. They should prove to the government and public that with the aid, they are able to perform their duties better."