15 December 2010

Yesterday a French man came to my office to promote something, a product or service. When it was time for him to leave, he tried calling a cab but after 20 minutes no cabs arrived (or wanted to come). So I offered to take him to the taxi stand in Equine Park knowing that there's always a couple of taxi drivers hanging around there. When we arrived, all 7 taxi drivers refused to take him where he's going - Jalan Maarof in Bangsar. Exasperated he said back in France you cannot refuse to take a passenger or they will revoke your license. Sorry to say monsieur Herve but taxi drivers in Malaysia can get away with pretty much anything. They can refuse to pick you up, send you anywhere they don't want to and especially refuse to use the meter and rip you off at every chance. The law is there but the enforcement s severely lacking.
In the end I offered to drop him off at the Serdang train station where I told him to take a train to Mid Valley. In Mid Valley he should have no problem getting a cab to Bangsar. Was I embarassed by the whole incident? Of course! But then sadly that's the norm here. We are still light years away from being a developed country judging by the attitudes of some of us. I'd like to say not all taxi drivers are like this but I know I can't. Most of them would do exactly the same. But you can't really blame them because everybody knows how bad traffic is at 6:30 in the evening in downtown KL. One would be crazy to head on there at that time for no concrete reason, taxi drivers included. Au revoir monsieur Herve. I Hope you won't bad mouth us too much when you get home. Most Malaysians are not that terrible but taxi drivers here, they're the exception.

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