Malaysian cabbies want more handouts to cope with MCO impact

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 April 2020:

Gabungan Persatuan dan Syarikat-Syarikat Teksi Semenanjung Malaysia (GPST), which represents over 100 taxi companies, today appealed to the government to look into the woes of taxi divers and taxi companies – whose earnings dropped by 90% last month with the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

President Sheikh Mohd Shalahuddin Ayubi Kamal Azad SM Amin said the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and MCO has resulted in immense challenges to both taxi companies, as well as taxi drivers.

To help alleviate the concerns and financial implications to taxi drivers, he said, its members have come out with three possible financial relief solutions during the MCO, which are subject to conditions in each taxi driver’s contract.

They are no taxi rentals, deferred taxi rentals, and/or discounted taxi rentals, he said in a statement.

Thus, he urged the taxi drivers to meet and discuss with their respective taxi company representatives to determine which options are open to them.

In thanking the government for the one-off payment to taxi drivers, he said, GPST members be grateful if the government could consider additional subsidies on top of the RM600 from the Social Security Organisation (Socso) to assist taxi companies to help employees who are not drivers, but also play a role in supporting the industry.

“This form of assistance will be able to help our members to sustain and keep their staff during this challenging time. As this point in time, employees of taxi companies who are not drivers are to accept minimum salaries for now rather than being retrenched or laid off.”

Sheikh Mohd Shalahuddin suggested giving zero or minimum tax rates to taxi companies for the remainder of the year as it would take more than six months for taxi companies to recover.

Although some taxi companies do not fall under SME category (as their paid-up capital may be more than RM2.5 million), he said benefits to SMEs should also be extended to all taxi companies regardless of their paid-up capital.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when announcing the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package on March 27 said e-hailing drivers will be given a one-off payment of RM500 each to ease their financial burden during MCO.

The aid was in addition to the one-off RM600 meant for taxi drivers, which is to start from April, announced in an earlier economic stimulus package by the previous administration.

– Bernama