Rais: Taxi drivers must promote 1 Malaysia as sign of gratitude
KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 1 — Taxi and bus drivers should highlight the positives of the prime minister’s 1 Malaysia concept and act as “government ambassadors”, Datuk Seri Rais Yatim said yesterday.
The information, communication and culture minister (picture) said public transport operators should not keep silent when carrying fares but must help explain the concept to passengers who “are critical and accuse the government of all sorts”, Utusan Malaysia reported today.
“It must be done as a sign of gratitude and thanks for the government’s efforts to continuously safeguard their welfare, like Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia and the specific government aid to taxi drivers,” the Malay daily quoted him as saying in Kota Kinabalu.
“When ferrying passengers, we ask that they tell those sitting next to them or behind them, ‘Taxi drivers like us have been given aid by the government. We are very grateful for the government’s mindfulness.’”
He added that taxi and bus drivers were “frontliners” who played an important role in promoting the 1 Malaysia concept to not only their passengers but also the public in general.
Putrajaya previously tried to enlist taxi drivers in the service of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to help curb graft.
In September last year, de facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz asked taxi drivers to act as the graftbuster’s “eyes and ears” on the ground.
“The involvement of people from all walks of life is important in fighting corruption,” he had said.
“Taxi drivers are those who frequently interact with the public, they can get a lot of information from their passengers.”
He added that if taxi drivers suspected their passengers of wrongdoing “they should immediately take the passengers to any MACC office and lodge a report”.