A coalition of taxi drivers in Malaysia is up in arms over supposed collaboration with Uber. Around 100 drivers from the The Gabungan Persatuan dan Syarikat-syarikat Teksi Semenanjung Malaysia (GPST) staged a protest after learning that the association had agreed to sign an MOU with the ride sharing company.
The drama started on 6 March 2017, when Big Blue Taxi Services founder Shamsubahrin Ismail said that the GPST has plans to work with Uber. The idea what that this would allow some 500 drivers to benefit from the ride-sharing network.
It would appear that not everyone was informed of the collaboration, as more than 100 cabbies turned up to protest the partnership. According to Free Malaysia Today, the cabbies said that they refused to work with “a Jewish company”. They had also accused the association of selling out.
As a result of this protest, the supposed MOU signing has been postponed with no future date provided.
Taxi drivers have largely opposed Uber and its ilk from the very beginning. The argument is that ride-sharing services have damaged their ability to make a living, forcing many cabbies to lose their jobs.
A survey from SPAD confirmed that the public would rather use ride-sharing instead of call a cab. Which shows that the cabbies have a point about reduced income and ability to compete. At this point, it would appear that the poor reputation of Malaysia taxis is working against them.
For now, it is difficult to say what is happening with the GPST. The association itself has not issued a collective statement on the matter.