Thousands of Malaysian cabbies to protest in KL on Wednesday

Taxis in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Taxis in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.PHOTO: THE STAR

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Thousands of Malaysian taxi drivers will protest over ride-sharing services such as Uber and Grab Car in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday (Nov 18) despite not receiving official approval for the gathering.

The planned protest is set to take place amid a summit of Asean leaders this week.

KL mayor Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz said the drivers had not been given permission by the KL City Hall to group in three areas around the city for the protest.

He said the City Hall would only consider giving the green light after the Asean summit, which runs from Wednesday to Sunday.

He added that authorities could be forced to take action if the taxi drivers chose to gather despite not getting the approval. "The police and DBKL will have to do something," he told The Star.

The Malaysian police is expected to beef up its security presence for the 27th Asean Summit, following the terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday.

Last month, the Klang Valley Taxi Drivers Action Committee said they would protest against the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) on Nov 18. The group claimed earlier that SPAD had failed to take care of the industry, and had allowed ride-sharing services such as Uber and GrabCar to operate here.

They said they would meet at Padang Merbok, the KL Mosque and along Jalan Conlay before heading to a final location, which would be announced only on that day.

Speaking to The Star on Monday evening, committee member Kamarudin Mohd Hussain said they would proceed with their plans despite DBKL's rejection.

"DBKL has rejected … We will carry on with the peaceful demonstration," he said, adding that the committee had backup plans in case they met with trouble.

Kamarudin expects some 6,000 taxi drivers to come for the march. The committee claims to represent 15,000 drivers.

Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Zainol Samah confirmed that he did not get any letter from DBKL allowing the protest to go on.

SPAD will also hold a land public transport symposium on Wednesday.

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar could not be reached for comment.