Sibu taxi associations refute claims of being greedy

CLEARING THE AIR: (From left) Collin, Lucas and Robert fielding questions from reporters.

SIBU: The two taxi associations here yesterday refuted allegations that they were greedy for parking space at the Sibu Airport Terminal.

Sibu Taxi Owner’s Association and Persatuan Teksi Bumiputra Bersatu Sibu, in making a joint clarification to refute a report carried by a local daily, said that since there was no designated lot for them at the airport, it had caused confusion among taxi drivers waiting to pick up passengers

They claimed that this had put them in a bad light.

Both associations, however, have given an assurance to the relevant authorities that they would work closely with them to ensure a win-win situation for everyone.

“As such, we hope that the relevant authorities would come up with a designated lots for taxis to resolve the ‘teething’ problems.

“Once the necessary lots have been assigned, and if there are still taxi drivers resorting to such practice, the associations will support the authorities in meting action against the offenders,” Sibu Taxi Owner’s Association chairman Robert Angkah told reporters.

Chairman of Persatuan Teksi Bumiputra Bersatu Sibu, Lucas Lai Bedui, supported Robert’s statement, saying they were law-abiding citizens and were willing to cooperate with the authorities on how best to work out a solution for the convenience of the public.

“It is never our intention to create any hassle for anyone. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring the smooth flow of traffic,” Lucas said.

Both chairmen claimed that although taxi drivers had parked near the main entrance of the airport, the drivers were still behind the wheel and were ready to move should private car owners need to do some unloading or even pick up or send friends or family members to and from the airport.

“We are just trying to earn a decent living to make ends meet. And if our vehicles get in the way, we are only too willing to move away to give space to someone else who need it most,” Robert said.

He added that about 50 taxis would be at the airport at any one time.

Deputy chairman of Persatuan Teksi Bumiputra Bersatu Sibu, Collin Tinting, meanwhile suggested that yellow lines be drawn on roads in front of the airport to avoid drivers from parking indiscriminately.

The airport manager Ya’akub Abu Bakar was reported to have said that the matter would be settled at a dialogue session with the taxi drivers.

Both associations lauded the move, describing it as a step forward to work out a win-win situation.

“Taxi drivers are front-liners, taking the role of ‘ambassadors’ to dispel negativity labelled against the government by giving correct picture of its development plans.

“And we are also contributing to the tourism industry by promoting places of interests to tourists,” they said.

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