Sunday, January 13, 2008


This blogger suddenly has damn a lot to say so... Wordy post coming up!

In Their Defence

"Their" being taxi drivers in Malaysia.
"Defence" to this which made me read this.

The reason why i come up to defend Malaysian taxi drivers is because though a certain percentage of them make sinful living out of conning others, there are honest cabbies in Malaysia.

I took a cab home from school after my SPM Moral paper (in November 2003) cuz i was pressed for time. For examinations we are to bring our Identity Card (IC or ID) to school and i carelessly put mine in my pocket. It fell out and i unknowingly left it in the taxi!

The IC was extremely important cuz SPM examiners are REALLY strict with ID and i had another paper 2 days later. Losing my ID would be a BIG problem.

PLUS i was scheduled to renew my passport the VERY next day after my Moral paper. Without my IC i wouldn't be able to apply for the passport which was needed for my Thailand trip after the SPM examinations.

The driver drove back to my house and returned it to me! I said thank you and didnt even give him a tip (which i deeply regret now la).

I've had bad experiences with them too, once on Chinese New Year's Eve (maybe 2002, cant remember), bestfriend and i were charged slightly more than the meter with the reason that it was Chinese New Year (he's not even Chinese). We paid, but in revenge i SLAMMED the door DAMN freaking HARD it echoed throughout the entrance of KLCC... Heheh

Yet i wanna defend them, i wanna say that, although there are meanies out there, not ALL of them are evil. There are kind souls out there that we should recognize. I mean... pity the good ones la, all their effort and no one acknowledges them, everyone views the entire Malaysian taxi driver profession as professional con artists...

Dun la encourage the good ones to turn bad as well.

Besides, like majority of income earners in Malaysia, cab fares according to the meter in Malaysia is SHIT low la. Less than RM20 takes me from Damansara (Jalan Dungu) to Shah Alam (Wisma DRB-Hicom) (from my personal experience during work in December 2006). That was a long ride!

In Australia, for a journey that is less than 1km, the meter charges $5.00 at the very least (RM14). Not saying that i want Malaysian cab fares to increase but solely for comparison's sake lah.

Similarly, the police officer i was assigned to in this situation was nothing like the ones described. And my mom who lost her IC twice in one year had no problems with the force whatsoever. So my point is though some are corrupted, there ARE decent ones too.

Yes ideally ALL of them should be honest/responsible/etc, but for a start, just acknowledge that there ARE good ones. Don't make them feel like their effort is put to waste because of what their colleagues did

===== totally unrelated below ======

Direct Factory Outlet Essendon

Thanks to BY, the myth that DFO Essendon can only be reached by car was banished. Info on how to get there below*.

Better than Spencer's DFO, definitely. Bought a present for blogger JW who invited me to her upcoming 21st Birthday. Bought a $10 lacey top that can be worn either casually or formally. Bought something fr Roxy for my upcoming Gold Coast trip!

Bought the most expensive plain white t-shirt i ever bought in my life! It's in size XS and it says

Put it on and i JUST knew i had to buy it the moment i tried it on! $30 (or RM90)

What ran through my head:

1. I wanted something from FCUK for AGES! Ever since i saw the shop in UK 4 and a half years ago. The shop was closed and we saw the fashion through the windows. We were too tight in schedule to revisit. When FCUK came to Malaysia, in Debenhams (closed down in 2006) in Times Square, friend who worked there said a simple t-shirt costs RM99, my hopes and dreams crashed. Even with her 30% discount i wouldn't fork out that much for a tee.

2. Housemate HS bought a cool Supre baby-tee that says "Good Girls Go to Heaven, Bad Girls Go Down Under". It has an Aussie flag below. I regret not getting it too. Supre's stuff on full price ain't affordable (to me). Roughly $25 for their catchy phrased tees. Not many people in Malaysia are familiar with Supre BUT most Malaysians have heard of FCUK.

3. No Fcukin' Worries wud be a damn good souvenir. Besides, my only Aussie souvenir so far is a $10 Crown Casino Chip (that is a souvenir to me cuz it has the Aussie flag colours and it says Melbourne Australia. Part of my rare winnings by the way ; )

4. I am gonna buy a "I Love Frankston" tee, that costs about $29.90 from Milk Bar, have got my eye on it since the beginning of my time in Frankston. Told the promoter that i'll come back when i've got a job and hell i've been working here for over a month here already! Similar to number two, if i am willing to buy an unknown to Malaysians tee that costs that much, why the fcuk not FCUK?

5. AN showed me the tee way back in October which made me aware of its existence. No ladies' tees that i know of in Crown's FCUK outlet, where he first showed me the $39.90 men's shirts. Bargain Bitch MELTED when she saw that there was the ladies' version for $10 less in Essendon!

*How to get there?

Take tram number 59 from the corner of Flinders and Elizabeth Street in Melbourne city. Stop at stop number 47, walk towards the main road and turn left (to make sure just ask some of the friendly Aussies in the shops nearby the tram stop la, thats what we did).
Fifteen to twenty minutes walk straight (includes walking over a flyover that flys over the highway to Tullamarine International Airport) and u won't miss the gigantic DFO.


pinkpau said...

hello sue lin :)

thank you for your comment on my blog. i think your defense on behalf of the good cabbies out there is very kind of you. yes, just as there are bad cabbies, there are also definitely good and noble taxi drivers out there. i'm glad that you are choosing to see the good in people :)

as someone who takes taxis everyday, it is in my experience that the number of cabbies who cheat and con FAR outweigh the ones who do not. and even when cheating money is not the issue, a lot of cabbies out there could do with simple lessons in courtesy and manners; especially because they are in the service industry where courtesy should be of the utmost importance.

the thing is, a lot of malaysians get fleeced by cabbies because they allow it. people are afraid to speak up because they dont want to be harmed by the cabbies (im sure you know how fierce they can be, what more with parangs in the trunk) or they just dont want the hassle. this has to stop because it is encouraging a cycle of rot which slowly infiltrates all levels of our society. and that's why i chose to blog about it :) i think people need to know that they shouldnt be afraid to stand up for consumer rights and for themselves when they encounter BAD CABBIES.

blogging about bad cabbies does not affect the good cabbies, u know :) if anything, it makes people more grateful when they encounter a good guy. i'm a firm believer that if there is anything bad in a system, it should be flushed out before anymore damage is done. if you keep justifying the bad with the good, progress cannot be made. that is why malaysia is in the sorry state that is .. because our govt keeps trying to divert people's attention to what small little good things they have achieved, ie the Angkasawan which as we all know is but a very very very small and unimpressive 'achievement' :)

nevertheless, it was very heartening to read your post about your experiences with good cabbies :) i just got home a few minutes ago in a cab that did not try to rip me off, and actually gave me back the 10 sen from my RM 12.90 total. they usually try to round it up, you see :) i was so pleased that i gave him an RM 3 tip. then he was pleased. so we were both pleased. so i hope my little gesture encouraged a good guy today. and i also hope that my little blog post encourages people to stand up against the bad guys.

+ : A d a M : + said...

the debate about good cops / bad cops and cheating taxi drivers will never end..but heres my 2 cents. =p

pinkpau said msians get fleeced by cabbies because they allow it. Then ill say the police will always take bribes because we are the ones giving it. Oh sure we have our excuses. "if i dont bribe the policeman ill get a heavy saman." or "i did nothin wrong! he just wants my money!" But arent all of us guilty of exceeding the speed limit everyday on the road? Does one saman do justice to the number of laws we break all the time?

i sometimes think that we msians always want to have our cake and eat it. We want better drivers on the road, yet we have no qualms bribing the instructors to pass our test. We complain that msia cant produce any local artists, but we will refuse to pay more than 10 bucks for a cd. Why should we when we can get 3 for 10 right???

i rarely take taxis, so i cant comment about how many good/bad cabbies i have met. but i can say this - being a cabbie is not an easy job. the working hours are definitely not desirable, and dont get me started on the work environment. Cooped up in a car and crawling through traffic jams everyday?? definitely not wat i wanted to be when i was growing up.

Im not saying this gives them a right to rip us off. I agree we have our rights as consumers, but we also must be reasonable laa. Cost of living in Msia isnt getting any why cant we just let the cabbie keep the 1 or 2 dollars change? or excuse the man of his bad manners coz hes got to put up with crazy drivers for so many hours..and i cant even stand it for less than an hour!!

i can keep going on this, but the basic point is this - we have to give and take, and we should always try to see it from the other's point of view. Put ourselves in their shoes, and ask why do they have to do such things in the first place?

Could the answer lie in ourselves after all? ;)

Ok i said this was gonna be 2 cents..i think ive gone wayy past that now..lolz

Sue Lin said...

Hey Pinkpau, thanks for the comment! Sorry didn't read it till now, i was away.

You are right especially about "the govt keeps trying to divert people's attention to what small little good things they have achieved", That cannot be denied

Malaysians don't speak up cuz we we are paranoid over getting hurt, in Malaysia anything's possible. However it is unlikely that many of them have parangs in their boot and its also unlikely that a significant percentage of them are willing to go as far as to hurt us physically. Still, even a mere 1% chance of getting hurt is enough to silence us into not complaining.

Great to hear about ur experience with the honest cabbie, and i do hope u meet many more of them in time to come =)

Sue Lin said...

Hahahah Adam, u really meant it when u said u are always up for a debate! Everyone else dare not comment from the looks of it eh?!

So... Are u talking about urself in particular when u say exceeding speed limit??? =) Cuz i know i rarely exceed =P Hehe

Love this point u put across "We want better drivers on the road, yet we have no qualms bribing the instructors to pass our test." Parents warn their kids about other dangerous fast young drivers out there but yet parents are the ones who knowingly give their 17 year olds an extra RM200 to pay to the driving instructor to pass the road test!

Also a damn good point about taxi driving in KL not being an easy job. Anyone who drives around KL should know that. Even one hour of traffic jams is hell. So so stressful I cried a few times after getting home, and i also argued a lot with Elwyn after driving home from work during my internship. Just makes a person cranky and all emo.

All in all i think your 2 cents is worth more than its face value =)