This is probably one of the worst periods to be a taxi driver in Malaysia.
First of all, they have to fend off Uber drivers. And then, they have had to seek cover as the Prime Minister himself asked people to get extra jobs probably as drivers to get more income in the 2017 Budget.
Then, they have the banks hounding them for their vehicle loans, which they cannot pay up due to bad business, increased costs and the two above reasons.
Now, they have to deal with the closure of NGV stations, albeit temporary, and they have to deal with it by themselves alone, for the government is not compensating them in any way for the closure.
The Star reported today that there are no plans to compensate taxi drivers affected by the temporary closure of 67 NGV stations in three states.
“Minister in The Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Petronas Dagangan Bhd will not pay compensation to taxi drivers as the closure did not affect all NGV stations nationwide.
“Sixty one out of the 128 NGV stations are still operating and taxi drivers can still rely on alternative fuel such as petrol or diesel.
“There is no proposal by Petronas Dagangan to pay compensation to taxi drivers,” he said in reply to a question by Dr Ong Kian Ming (DAP-Serdang) during Minister’s Question Time in Parliament on Tuesday.
“He said the temporary closure only affected Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Johor.
“He noted that 22 NGV stations in Selangor and five in Negri Sembilan are still operating.
“Abdul Rahman added that the temporary closure was to allow Petronas Dagangan to carry out work to upgrade safety features at the stations following a recent explosion at a station in Johor.
“He said the affected stations would be reopened in stages in a month or two.
“Dr Ong said that Petronas Dagangan had earned RM794mil last year and should consider compensating affected taxi drivers.
“I met a taxi driver in Bangsar who said he now has to pay RM100 for petrol a day compared to only RM40 before,” he said.
“To this, Rahman said that NGV is heavily subsidised with the Government paying between RM100mil and RM200mil a year.
“He urged taxi drivers in the affected states to be patient and allow work to be carried out at the stations.
“On Oct 25, a 33-year-old worker was killed when an explosion occurred at a Petronas station in Taman Mount Austin, Johor Baru.
“Initial findings showed that the explosion happened at the station’s NGV compressor facility during maintenance work,” reported The Star.
As much as many of the public transport users do not like taxi drivers, one has to understand that these thousands of drivers do contribute to thousands of us getting to work and doing chores daily.
Taxi drivers are just like other hard working Malaysians, contributing to the country.
The authorities, in closing down the NGV for repair works, should realise that when they do not compensate them, the taxi drivers’ families are probably going hungry and or have to go to loan sharks to borrow money.
They are among the low income rakyat, and where else can they borrow money from?
Furthermore, the months of November and December, are the months of preparation for the next new school year. How are they going to cope?
The least the government should have done is to get them to keep their petrol receipts and compensate them based on the calculations of the petrol should they have used NGV instead.
The NGV stations were never enough in the first place, as many of us would be familiar with the long lines of taxis having to queue up for hours to get their fill as they open for limited hours.
The public is already suffering from a sad state of the public transport, the authorities, especially SPAD should push the government not to further aggravate the situation.
Source : Koya@The Heat Malaysia Online