Miscellaneous / Politics in general / Socio-economy

The bad apples in tourism industry (and a bit about politics)

I must thank all the commentators in my previous post. I do know that there are a lot things to be done. The struggle for a better Malaysia is a continuous journey. Everyone is responsible to make that happen. Along the way, there will be hiccups and confusion. There will be disparity between ideas and objectives. There will be gaps in expectations. That is normal. In the end, everyone must remember their role. If your political inclinations is in the minority, you must adhere to the political idealogy of the majority. Proper decorum must always be followed if you want to highlight any dissent.

If you are the majority, then you must be fair to everyone, including the minority. That is the spirit of democracy. One thing that everyone must remember; the leaders cannot please everyone. If they are competent and sincere, then they will do what is right for the whole nation.

Speaking of sincere leaders, I’d love to write more about Anwar Ibrahim but I see that many blogs have talked about him already. Actually everytime I write about Anwar Ibrahim, I would be smiling all the way. Why? Because he is an interesting character to write. Thank you Anwar Ibrahim for coming into my life. 

You have provided me with a lot of issues to talk about

Come to think of it, he is the only person that could make me smile everytime I write about him. As oppose to the more sombre characters like Lim Kit Siang or Pak Lah. By the way, Khairy Jamaluddin receives the most frowns whenever I write about him. No offence Khairy. It’s just you.

Tomorrow is the voting day in 3 by-elections. I do hope the voters there will know that each of their vote counts. So please do not throw away your democratic rights. Honestly, I think the chances of PAS winning Bukit Gantang is quite bright. I could be wrong. Nevertheless my belief is solely based on the absence of PAS crying foul over the existence of phantom voters. Usually, if PAS chances’ of winning any election was slim, they will claim that BN will bring in phantom voters.

That would be the first tell tale sign that PAS’ confidence of winning is minimal. But we do not see any of their leaders crying foul over phantom voters (yet).  I know my argument is very simplistic but I do think simple scenarios are the most obvious things to analyse.  

Therefore, I do think that BN machinery must work around the clock. In Kuala Terengganu, the night before election day, the whole of BN stopped canvassing for votes because they wanted to attend a concert called Pentarama. That was a huge mistake. BN workers and leaders must never stop for anything non beneficial. Instead, they should stop and ask themselves, “will this make us lose a vote?” everytime they want to do anything stupid.

For instance, seeing bodyguards of Umno leaders leaping out from cars before it even come to a full stop will not bring about more votes. Blaring sirens around kampungs just to signal the arrival of ‘para pembesar Umno’ will definitely be a turn off to the constituents. One should be more discerning to the feelings of the locals rather than to show the party’s strength and power.

Secondly, right after voting day, BN machinery must go to the ground again and do a survey on why have they lost (hopefully not) or why have they won. The result of that survey is crucial in the coming future. I cannot stress this more. This is a direct way in knowing what went wrong and what went right.

Anyway, I am digressing way too much from the main topic. I wanted to highlight the misfits in our tourism industry but was distracted by tomorrow’s elections. I guess we can never escape from being a political observer. 

Good politics give us good vibes but bad politics emit bad ones. Voters tomorrow must go into that booth feeling good about themselves. Only then they can make a sound decision. Good luck to the people in Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai.


For the past one year, we have been experiencing several shocking news. Malaysia has never been the same. Wave after wave of political indecencies coloured our nation.

Political feuds and oneupmanship seemed to be the order of the day. Nothing surprise us anymore.

But two weeks ago, I read the most shocking news of all: 

Tourist abused by cabby who refused to engage meter

I’m Tushar Choudhury, marketing manager of an American firm based in Dubai.

I was in Kuala Lumpur last week to attend a conference and after a pleasant stay for most of the week, I encountered a horrible experience on the last day of my trip.

My colleague and I boarded a taxi at 3.45pm on March 14 in front of KLCC. The driver drove us to the Renaissance Hotel and asked for RM10 without switching on the meter.

When we refused to pay the amount and asked him why he did not switch on the meter, he drove us back to KLCC, shouting and abusing us all the way.

He even threatened that he would get us killed and dared us to complain to the police. When we reached KLCC, he tried to force me out of the taxi and tore off my T-shirt. When we called the KLCC security, he threatened us with a knife he had in the taxi. The KLCC security guard just stood there.

We took another taxi back to the hotel. We also lodged a formal complaint at the hotel. The complaint number is 2774.

I stay in Dubai and have been all over the world but never ever have I experienced such a thing anywhere. I was shocked that this happened to us in Malaysia.

Dubai, UAE.

Another story here:

An octogenarian lost his wallet, pouch and important identification documents when the taxi he had hired sped off before he could retrieve his belongings as he was getting out.

Omar Yong Teong Loo, 80, a Chinese Muslim convert from Lumut, Perak, told Bernama that the unknown taxi driver also did not turn on his meter and when he pointed it out received a scolding instead.

“I am an old man, I asked him to turn on the meter, he scolded me and called me rude names. He then said the fare was RM20. I pulled out my pouch, paid him and when I got out with one leg in the car and the other on the street, he sped off!

“He accelerated and sped off and I didn’t even manage to get my pouch back. I tried to get his license plate but I couldn’t see clearly. I stopped a police patrol car and informed them what happened but without the license plate they couldn’t do much except keep a lookout for my IC,” said a tearful Omar at the MAPCU-MQA Higher Education Fair at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here today.

Omar said he was supposed to meet a friend at the PWTC but without his cell phone, became lost and was forced to ask people around for money in order to get back home. — BERNAMA

I am flabbergasted. Bad vibes are everywhere here in Malaysia.

Letters from the public regarding our taxi service are pouring in everytime. Can be read here, here and here. Seriously, the new ministers in charge of Tourism, Transport and probably Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development must mitigate this problem fast.

28 thoughts on “The bad apples in tourism industry (and a bit about politics)

  1. Whats new about our taxis ?

    So bored and horrified until I have to bought my wife a car after all the whining I got from her with all the antics of the cabbies. I can afford to do it but what about those who cant ? I love the idea of environment friendly etc by taking public transport but I love my family more.

    It is so simple to apprehend them , enforcement guy acting like a common passenger , with a hidden camera that look like a pen ( those you can get in Jalan Pasar for less than RM200.00 to record 4 hours of clear video ) start acting and taping the ‘incident’ .

    Will the enforcement willing to do it ? I am afraid not .

    Ahh I am tired of this issue.

    Adam B


  2. Whatever you do, don’t stop blogging. We need more of that good old Victorian spirit to be distributed throughout M’sia!

    As for tourism and taxis, when have these problems not been here? If run properly, Tourism should bring in more visitors to M’sia than S’pore, Thailand and Hawaii. We have the cheapest 5-star hotels, beach resorts, best food and the friendliest people in the world. Yet we lag behind those with far less advantages!

    There are 5 problems:-

    1. Poverty
    2. Education
    3. Greed
    4. Corruption
    5. Enforcement

    If we have good enforcement as in S’pore than problems 1-4 can be managed. What it needs is sustained undercover operations for 1 year by throughout M’sia by the JPA and Police.

    All found not operating within the law should have their licences withdrawn for 5 years, fined heavily AND put away behind bars.

    Do we have the will power to clean up these taxi thugs or allow politics to bully the public at the cost of ruination of our image locally and abroad as well as Tourist Income?


  3. salam bro,

    A bit about politics…

    Personally i’ve got good vibes about BN winning all the three seats.

    But… Entah lah…my bad vibes pulak..kalau BN menang all the three seats…. takut kepala pemimpin BN akan MEMBESAR again.



  4. Tushar Choudhury…..sounds like a very Indian name to me. I would not take his complaint with a pinch of salt.

    No offence to fellow Malaysian Indians BUT having lived in New Delhi for 9 months and observing their behaviour in MAS flights to the sub-continent, I think there is a touch of exageration in his complaints.

    Yes, our cabbies are indeed hostile and more often than not they skirt the law. In fact, I’ve been approached by tourist in KLCC about cab fares to go to Bangsar etc. I guess the travel books have already written this about Malaysia. This behaviour needs to be curbed.

    If Mr Choudhury is smart, he should’ve left the cab that he took for another one and insisted that the meter is reset prior to boarding. I bet the travel books say this too. Too bad he missed this bit…


  5. Dear Jabat,

    Please dont stop writing, your article is always interesting to me and my family and many others too.
    The struggling is not end yet. If im not mistaken the mojority people of this country had only 18% of the wealth of the nation. The worst part these people are selling away their land and estate.
    Some are lucky its MALAY RESERVATION done by the British, anyway what had the umno and other agencies done to their people who had given trust to them? sooner or later everything will be gone if there s no ACTION taken. Sir Jebat i hope you will take this matter up seriously.
    Thank You.


  6. Dear JMD and all

    I believe strongly that if we want to be successful in anything we do, we have to work very hard for it.So is politics.those who aspire to be leaders in politic, work at it.Work in area that need attention, spend a lot time,energy and dollars in your area.If you are professional, use it to full advantage to help people in your area.in doing so you are actually creating fan base.Always lend a hand in any activity organise by your group or by others.kenduri kawin, kenduri arwah, tahlil, sembahyang hajat, be present.learn all the necessary tools to succed in these filed.learn and improve public speaking.Mosque and surau are places you must be seen always.Not during election only but on regular basis.if you are popular in your area, in your party dont you think you will be selected as leader and winner.

    JMD : Thank you for the good advice.


  7. Dear Jebat,
    Share my experience with foreign tourist.
    My family had a two nights’ stay last year at a hotel in Port Diskson which provided complimentary pony rides at its beach.
    My son and I were on the beach the next day, standing in line for the ride. A kid in front of us had a sore leg. So, we asked him to sit down while we reserved his place. Next came a family of foreign tourist, not really queuing behind us, but rather wandering around. When its time for my son’s ride, we called the kid and we let him take the ride.
    To my surprise, the tourist started to open up their mouth. I explained the situation. Some of their strong answers;
    1. the hotel (his exact words were “your country”, but I presumed he was referring to the hotel), should have made better arrangements (before offering any activities),
    2. back in their country (I believe he really means his country), coupons were issued for similar activities,
    3. being foreign tourist, they should be given priority,
    and bla.. bla.. bla..
    I agree with BigDaddy, they do exaggerate small issues. In my case… over a free pony ride by the beach.


  8. Salam JMD,

    This has been going on for at least a decade if not more now, and since the transport minister or tourism minister or any other person can not settle it once and for all, then how will they even be capable of planning and implementing logistics for the whole country.

    donplaypuks nicely listed the relevant issues, which is already known for all, low base rate, licensing, regulation of drivers. This is what happens, not only in the taxi industry but everywhere else when the motivation is not for the betterment of the country but to put money into the hands of certain groups of people indiscriminately in the name of closing the income gap between races.

    When you have a good and proper system in order, then the money will follow, melimpah-limpah. What good does it do if they keep overcharging everyone.

    BigDaddy is an example of typical ‘it’s never our fault’ attitude. It doesn’t matter if the customer is troublesome but the better person would handle it with grace, without discriminating. Talking behind their backs is another thing altogether. 😉

    JMD : Thank you for the comment Msleepyhead. Enforcement as stated by Donplaypuks is perhaps the most important criteria of all. But what we have here in this country is our own lackadaisical attitude towards enforcement. It is prevalent perhaps in all areas of our governance system. As lowly as the small agencies, up to the upper echelons in the public sectors. Sigh. Oh well, at the very least, it is good to read that the new PM is placing high regards towards punctuality. 🙂


  9. Dear JMD,

    You would have known by now the by-elections results.

    Not surprised but something came to my mind-does the BN machinery have to be activated only during elections?

    Meaning, do they not immediately conduct a post mortem after any election and address issues why votes were lost. It had been more than one year since GE12.

    If so, would not the margin been narrowed?

    Anyway, coming back to the taxi issue not only tourists but we locals too are at the mercy of these touts. Enforcement is one thing and punishment another.

    I have mentioned that I commute daily. Try the taxis waiting at the Kelana Jaya Rapid Station. You have to pay double my friend!

    I would normally walk out of the station for a distance and flag and hop onto passing taxis. These taxis will tell you that they are not allowed to and will not pick up passengers at the station for fear of assault.

    Well thats my experience for you.

    Have a nice day.



  10. Err… have there been any visits to countries like New Zealand, Australia, the UK etc on how the taxis are run in those countries?

    Tarak ka? Apa lagi kawan-kawan kat MECD, JPJ…, ni peluang nak gi melancung ni .


  11. Sorry for digressing totally from your main topic.

    The following is my personal observation of the mentality of voters of these days.

    The political mindsets of the current generation of voters, especially the younger voters, are very different from those generation of pre-2004 era.

    Voters in the past tend to weight more on the performance of BN. So when there were unsatisfactory policies or personalities, changes or adjustments to the cause of the problems would normally retain the support of the voters.

    The current generation of voters are different, when they say they want change, they are not talking about changes or adjustments to unsatisfactory policies or personalities, they are talking about changing the ruling of BN. They do not care how much changes or adjustments are being done, or planned to be done, they just want a change of the ruling political parties. They are banking on the idea of the opposition parties have never been given chances to rule before, how can we judge them! And they think 50+ years for BN is too enough, and they say BN has failed them, it is time to change! So what I personally see is that they want change, for the sake of change!

    After having opportunities to mix with people of this current generation of voters, I personally think that talking about political policies to this kind of mindsets does not help at all because they are mostly having the perception of BN is absolutely wrong and PR is absolutely right. Even a slight mentioning of certain BN policies are good will straight away turn eyes and will get labelled traitor, and a slight doubting of certain PR policies will get labelled political spy!

    Is there any other possible strategies in dealing with this kind of voters? There will be another 6 millions new voters in the coming GE and I personally believe most of them are of this kind. Should we surrendar? Or till the last ‘blood’!


  12. Dear JMD,

    The Taxi Issue – A Postscript

    In these difficult times where some people are being laid off, wouldn’t it be fantastic and an opportunity if the powers that be provide individual permits and taxis for these people.

    As commented on the issue earlier these taxis waiting at the Kelana Jaya Rapid Station are lazy bums who would charge you double. The honest hardworking taxi drivers would be plying non-stop to make a living. From their point of view it can be a decent one.

    As I said enforcement is one thing and punishment another because the root is at the issuing stage whereby permits are issued and got thru an unsatisfactory manner. Therefore punishment is moot. If it were not the case the situation would not be in this sorry state.

    This is my suggestion ONLY for the laid off workers:

    1) A Board be set up of DGs of the Labour, Transport and Finance Ministries and Directors of nominated Banks and entrusted for the sole purpose of issuing these permits. Please don’t laugh because this will automatically create a check and balance.

    2) Preferably Proton and Perodua or any other Auto Co will provide the vehicles at cost and a comprehensive and affordable service programme.

    3) Banks on the Board will provide the financing of these vehicles at base lending rates and with easy repayment schemes.

    4) The Labour Dept will be entrusted to vet and approve the applicants, the Transport Dept will provide the commercial licences and the Finance Dept will provide the necessary exemptions for all financial aspects as well as being the watchdog for the Board.

    5) A minimum requirement woud be the term of service to the company that the person had been previously employed. Say 5 years.

    6) The taxis would be called Taxi Ananah.

    The benefits (in its literal sense) for all concerned above, are enormous.



  13. @ donplaypuks

    Seconded your motion 100%. Our public transportation has been in dire straits, so many decisions have been made on political ground rather than the people.

    @ helme & bigdaddy

    agreed. while some tourists and expatriates are honest and sincere in their comments, some others are just exaggerating and nothing more, even to an extent of generalising Malaysia as a whole as if everything is perfect (heheh, as if we are so naive to think) back there in their country. If you don’t mind telling more, from which country did the foolish family come from? rasa macam tahu je those kind of tourists selalunya datang dari ………. (fill in the blank). These kind of people always seek privilege, muka tak malu.

    @ azmi

    engkau adalah commentator paling BODOH yg menempek di blog ni. kat topik satu lagi kau kata JMD buang masa di blog ni. yg kau pun menempek juga, bukan buang masa ke namanya tu?

    lagi satu, CERMIN diri kau sendiri dulu sebelum nak ajar JMD (atau sesiapa pun) soal dosa-pahala. kau tu dah confirm sangat jadi ahli syurga ke? chit poodah. bukannya dia hutang duit bapak kau pun untuk buat blog ni.

    tak payahlah kau seronok sangat, Nizar memang pun dek kerana pengundi Cina (mostly from Kuala Sepetang) yg memang nak balas dendam sebab kerajaan DAP diorang dah BUNGKUS. peti-peti undi kawasan melayu jelas memihak UMNO. berseronoklah kau. teruskanlah menjilat buntut DAP ye azmi!

    @ JMD

    Tahniah kerana matlamat pertama blog tuan sudah tercapai, tapi bak kata Robert Kiyosaki, apabila satu matlamat sudah tercapai, kita mesti bersedia dengan matlamat baru seterusnya. Kalau tidak, jadilah kita ibarat “clinging to the past, living in the past”.

    Sorry for not commenting in your blog for quite a while. I have been preparing for my new job, baru dapat offer. All the best!

    JMD : Thank you for the comment and all the best with your new job.


    • eh…marah pasal BN dah kalah,aku plak yg kena? haha…cakap la ape pun,MENANG TETAP MENANG…org kalah memang la tengah beremosi…xpe,aku faham….


        • HAHAHAHA….panas nampak? rilek la joe…terimalah kekalahan BN dgn hati yg tenang….

          JMD : Sungguh meriah di sini. Terima kasih.


          • apa yg panas? aku kat rumah ni nyaman aje. engkau tu yg mungkin tak nyaman sebab berguling-guling atas jalan di Kuala Kangsar. kau tu yg BODOH sangat. ni kali pertama aku directly cakap orang BODOH. sebab kau memang deserve.


          • penyokong BN sentiasa tenang, tak seperti penjilat PR yg histeria melolong bila keadaan tak menyebelahi. menang walaupun sikit maka dikatakan pilihanraya terbaik di dunia. tapi bila kalah salahkan “hantu”… penyokong PR ni percaya sangat benda2 tahyul gamaknya…


  14. Dear JMD,

    For some strange reason our public transport especially buses and taxis seems to be operated by thugs. It doesn’t matter what bus you take, being polite to most of them seem to be out of the question. Even the bus that ply the LCCT-KL Sentral route, for a service that is relatively new still displays the same bad habits. As if anyone that uses public transport must be treated badly.

    I do not face this problems anywhere I go in the world. Even with language problems, I can still get by and get to my destinations without much abuse or problems. (My anywhere in the world was places like Iran, Uzbekistan, Switzerland etc. therefore language can be a problem.)Compared to my own little experience in front of Lot 10 and Sungai Wang Plaza. The taxi drivers there are abusive, rude and merely there out to con people.

    What is the problem here? Enforcement? Mind set? Political patronage? Poor monitoring? Lack of training? Etc etc etc.

    We can continue to find and search for a reason or an excuse but what remains the same is that this group of Malaysians, not Malay, not Chinese, not Indian etc., but Malaysians is the worse of the lot if not the worst. They remain a plague to our society and only way to curtail this and not by mere slaps on the hand or mere fines but actual hard punishments. For merely bringing disrepute to the country they need to made to pay back to the community.

    Actual community service, cleaning the roads or the public toilets etc and if that still does not work probably jail term will do.

    The biggest problem that we have is this severe disconnect between our laws and our enforcement and our enforcement officers. Many of our laws are now archaic and in dire need of a review, repeal or revamp. The enforcement must be given some teeth and enforcement of this nature need to be taken out of the normal justice system.

    Probably our MOT need to establish some kind of Traffic Court or Magistrates Court to cater for these cases. Enforcement agencies too need to be streamlined and not be divided into individual fiefdoms of LPKP, JPJ, Police etc etc etc. For a start the plan to streamline Land Transport under one agency is a step in the right direction.

    Some other agencies such as the Local Authorities, Municipal Councils, City Halls need to be “deputised” to also look into this scourge and menace. The common theme among all of them is that they are all interested in promoting and developing tourism. Use this common theme, come up with some affirmative action and get rid of this problem once and for all.

    Hotels too should get in the picture. Abusive drivers should not even be allowed to ply their service and hotels that still used these drivers should also be punished. Guests at the hotels should be given reminders and possibly even furnished with numbers of sound taxi service so that they are not caught in a lurch when they want to return to the hotel.

    For us locals, our community should start advertising good taxi services at the malls, mosque, 7 Elevens, churches, temples etc so that we can start removing this cancer from our society. Slowly maybe we can then just start teaching these drivers a lesson that we are going to hit them where it hurts most, their pockets. Start putting up taxi numbers that have been giving problems and get people to avoid them like plague.

    My contribution for this morning JMD. About politics? Just walk the talk and don’t be overly pretentious. The people are not impressed by the trappings of power anymore but the quality of the representative and their service. Why did PKR win in Selambau? Because the candidate is largely untainted. PAS win in Bukit Gantang is due to sympathy votes and not much else.


  15. It would be great if the KSU of respective ministry able to continue good effort , if there is any , irregardless if there is a change of minister. Consistently.

    It would be nice if program like 1konsumer able to do exposee on these culprits on the record of miniture cam.On taxi permits, I hope license distribution to be filtered and be given to ex army men. I was so touched to be returned 0.30 cents back by one cabbie in KL as this ex army man cabbie was calculating to actual reading of the meter.I just told him to keep the change.

    Helme , I do had experience of such tourists but sometimes I just smile about it.Let them show all their antics but dont forget to spend till they drop in our country. I was beside a sporean tourist before in Kuching’s Waterfront who was a bit extra loud saying ‘Cheap,so cheap,how can they sell so cheap!’ . Being human we get irritated by arrogance but on bright side I saw her paid RM450.00 for a whole bag of handmade beads. See my point. I continue doing my country a service by telling her there is a shop on the other alley selling handmade bags. I hope she spent another RM1,000.00 there.


  16. the ever soooo politically correct msleepyhead has spoken.

    let me tell you that i am not condoning the errant behaviours of taxi drivers. it has to stop…period. do we blame the government for lack of enforcement for everything that is wrong in this country? if there is a need for stringent enforcement then we’d have to increase spending by employing more officers leading to more taxes. that will hurt both you and me. that is if you are a taxpayer like myself.

    what part do we play? do you think the taxi drivers run riot because they play that trick to the tourists exclusively? they also do the same to the locals and since there are more of us locals than there are tourist, we should be teaching the cabbies a lesson. don’t take rides from those asking for money up front. ditch them for the cab behind. if there are enough of us doing that, then our little deed will go a long way towards making sure that cabbies toe the line.

    oh and please spare me the insinuation because not every country is perfect. go to india and see how bad they treat tourists there. at the ticket booth to the Taj Mahal it says this…”Locals : Rp50 Foreigners : Rp750″. over here tourist and locals pay the same price. in the west, tourist are second class citizens and locals always comes first. over here, things have to be perfect for them tourist ALWAYS. which is not a bad thing but how much revenue does the tourism industry bring in?

    so there you have it. the world ain’t a perfect place msleepyhead in case you haven’t noticed.


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