Sunday, October 01, 2006

Penang's Road Kings Rule Supreme

The trishaw riders were once called the ‘Kings of the Roads’ in Penang. Today the crowns have shifted to new heads, those of taxi drivers.

Despite promises by the state government and enforcement agencies, and their so-called Aug 1 deadline for taxis to use the meter, the Kings are still defiant.

It’s amazing that the rule to use the meter was proposed nine years ago, but was put off several times to appease the taxi drivers. As the locals say, finding a taxi driver in Penang who will take you to your destination and charge you by the meter is like finding a needle in the haystack.

The State Local Government and Transport Management Committee chairman Dr Teng Hock Nan and the Chief Minister have both acted ‘dunno’ and attempted to do a Pontius Pilate on the sorry state of affair.

Dr Teng said:
"It is out of our hands. Go and ask the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) what they are doing about it."

That’s the sort of state government we’re having. Time for Koh and his Gerakan to go.

The CVLB, the authority that issues the public service vehicle permits to cabbies, has also reneged on its promise to crack down on rogue drivers.

Its chairman, Markiman Kobiran, has the bloody gall to admit that
no action had been taken against any taxi driver on the island although show-cause letters were sent to 55 of them. He said the CVLB had decided to give taxi drivers more time to abide by the ruling and would only discuss the matter at a later date.

WTF 'more time'?

When asked just how long they would monitor the situation before cracking the whip, Markiman beat around the bush and said that people should be patient with the cabbies.

Many have been asking the question on why the authorities have been reluctant to act against those defiant cab drivers?

Those in the know have privately indicated that it has to do with political interference. One source said:
"We can easily solve the problem but every time the enforcement agencies get tough, the cabbies run to the politicians for help. The politicians then get involved and we are back to square one."

Citizens For Public Transport (Cepat) co-ordinator, Dr Choong Sim Poey, said it was terrible that taxi drivers were given endorsement to continue flouting the law.

He criticised: "The CVLB and state government cannot continue taking the taxi drivers’ side."

I am not surprised at all as CM Koh KT has been playing footsies with hawkers and cab drivers for decades. That’s why Penang State under his leadership (or lack of) looks like a lump of sh*t instead of being the Pearl of the Orient.


  1. I would support the call by UMNO Youth to rotate the Penang CM's post for the reason you stated above and not just because the UMNOputras think that it was time for them to take over and contribute their sh*t. To think that Tan Sri is serving his fourth term as CM! Doesn't speak well for the taste or intelligence of Penangites like me.

  2. Its common knowledge that orang Tanjong memang kedekut.Their 10 cent is like a bullock cart wheel.Every cents counts.

    Me pity these taxi guys.Without meter the trip from Gelugor to Jetty only cost bet.RM 3.00- RM 5.00 but the imposition of meter,U masuk saja dalam taxi U dah kena charge RM 3.00 & thereon 10 sen/km,in the end with traffic jam etc..etc U end up paying bet. RM 15.00 - RM 20.00.

    Orang Tanjong not like orang KL,they will bargain & bargain.They prefer to wait for the yellow Milan bas service that sometimes come & sometime dont. They prefer TAXI SAPU coz they can always bargain the price.Taxi sapu only cost RM 3.00 for the Gelugor - Jetty trip. No wonder,now U seldom see taxi plying the roads on Pulau Pinang.

    So who to blame...Koh Tsu Khoon,Dr Teng,the taxi drivers,the CLVB or the penumpang?

    Do U think UMNO can do better if they are at the helm?

    So KT is right saying,"Penang's Road Kings Rule Supreme" & that includes the penumpang too for they drive hard bargains.

    Btw,if U need taxi,just go to the nearest shopping areas like Prangin Mall,Komtar,BJC,Sunshine Square or around major hotels downtown,Tanjung Bunga & Batu Ferringi & U pay tru your nose.


  3. I think you should check ur facts first. It is certainly beyond the control of the state government. It is the jurisdiction of the federal government. Read the law before making sweaping comments.