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KOTA BARU, Feb 20 — Many taxi drivers in four districts in Kelantan have surrendered their permits due to lack of passengers since March last year and more are expected to follow suit.
Faizul Mustapa, the treasurer of Persatuan Kereta Sewa Kelantan Gabungan Barat, the association representing them, said almost 30 per cent of members had been forced to do this, citing lack of passengers due to the movement control order (MCO) and the inability to meet management costs.
‘’Almost 30 per cent of the 300 members have resorted to the drastic move of surrendering their permits. The members are from Kota Bharu, Pasir Mas, Rantau Panjang and Pengkalan Kubor.
‘’We expect more taxi drivers to follow in their footsteps if the situation persists,’’ he told reporters when met at the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Car Rental Caring Programme here today.
The programme was also attended by Bersatu Supreme Council member, Datuk Mohamed Farid Mohamed Zawawi.
Earlier, Mohamed Farid handed out petrol vouchers worth RM50 to 21 taxi drivers in the district who were impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Commenting further, Faizul said the taxi drivers also faced the problem of meeting annual operational costs including car and business licenses.
‘’The tax drivers also have to bear the cost of the car insurance coverage of RM800 to RM1,700 depending on the age of the car as well as car and business licenses of RM300 for a five-year period.
‘’We are appealing to the relevant parties for assistance and we hope the government can exempt us from the operational costs during this difficult period,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Ismail Kadir, 67, who has been a taxi driver for 35 years, said he was now dependent on his four children, aged 25 to 40 years, after losing his source of income since March last year. — Bernama