SUPP Official Website SUPP PRESS RELEASE BY WILFRED YAP, SUPP KOTA SENTOSA BRANCH CHAIRMAN

SUPP PRESS RELEASE BY WILFRED YAP, SUPP KOTA SENTOSA BRANCH CHAIRMAN

Let’s talk about UBER/GRAB today, the latest mode of public transport that has gained popularity among younger commuters in our country.

Sadly, in one of Tun Dr. Mahathir’s speeches earlier, our former Prime Minister who is now the leader of PAKATAN HARAPAN, said he felt ashamed when more and more fresh graduates turned to becoming UBER/GRAB drivers, which is shocking enough when such statement came from a former leader who almost put the nation to bankruptcy. It is even more shocking that Tun is now Pakatan Harapan’s candidate for Prime Minister (again).

In many highly developed and advance cities all over the world, Kuala Lumpur included, calling for UBER/GRAB service has become part of the people’s everyday life.

In Kuching, however, even though it is still in its “infant stage”, but we know for sure, that it is steadily gaining momentum and will become the primary mode of public transport for many of our younger commuters in the near future.

Given time, more and more senior citizens who are somewhat tech savvy will eventually give up using the traditional taxi service. This is the trend, you either change and follow, or you will fall behind and become obsolete.

There is no need to elaborate too much on why people choose UBER/GRAB nowadays, as I am sure most of us already know. As commuters, we want lower fares, more reliable and better service, simple as that!

Not only has UBER/GRAB provided convenience to the commuters, as operators of UBER/GRAB cars, this new industry has given many families an additional source of side income, and for those who lost their jobs due to retrenchments, a safety net to fall into. Becoming an UBER/GRAB driver is fast and easy, this new industry has somehow helped the government to solve some of the unemployment/debt issues which is common these days.

Being a UBER/GRAB driver doesn’t have to be permanent or long term, and it doesn’t even have to be full time job either. Fresh graduates while waiting for job interviews, can quickly earn a living and gain financial independence, rather than relying on parents. It can be a temporary measure to quickly solve one’s financial problem too, or even make a good living.

Furthermore, they can expand their social network by meeting new people, increasing their career opportunities. At the same time, they can take this opportunity to polish their social skills, accumulating working experience all at the same time, before entering the job market. Besides, this is by all means a legitimate source of income, which should be encouraged and supported.

But what about the taxi drivers? Should we not care about their livelihood? The answer is NO! We can’t neglect them as they have been law abiding and productive citizens who have contributed greatly to the society in the last many decades. But sadly, their livelihood is now at stake, because they can’t compete with UBER/GRAB.

Therefore, as SUPP Kota Sentosa branch Chairman, I am pleading to the government, both at the federal and state level, to come up with feasible formulas that will allow the taxi drivers and UBER/GRAB drivers to compete on a platform that is fair, as I am sure that this will further benefit the consumers after all.

At the same time, the government can assist taxi drivers who wish to become UBER/GRAB drivers, but do not possess the know-hows (particularly the older drivers), by providing training courses conducted in different languages, as well as financial aids (special rebates to trade in their taxis)…etc.

As a government who cares for its people, rather than expecting them to change, we can help them to achieve that goal, so they don’t feel left out. Technologies will greatly improve the quality of our everyday life, no doubt, but let’s not leave behind those who is trying hard, but having troubles catching up.

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December 2018
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