Taxi drivers are facing a double whammy with the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), on top of already losing customers to e-hailing drivers.

About 95% of cabbies nationwide have stopped driving completely, as there are no passengers, The Sun quoted taxi drivers' alliance Gabungan Teksi SeMalaysia president Kamarudin Mohd Hussain as saying.

Despite having no job and no income, some drivers are still required to pay daily vehicle rentals which can amount to RM50 a day, to the companies that own their vehicles, he added.

"Based on the agreement, if they fail to make payments, their rented taxis can be seized. So, once this MCO is over, if the drivers are unable to recover their losses, they face the prospect of losing their vehicles."

Drivers who are still operating can only earn about RM10 a day ferrying passengers, which is not enough to even cover their operational costs, according to Kamarudin.

If the MCO is extended beyond April 28, up to 40% of some 100 taxi operators could go bust, as each operator is currently looking at about RM20,000 in losses a month, Bumiputra Taxi Operators Association president Mohd Alias Abdul told the English daily.

"Taxi operators are on the ropes because drivers are not paying their rentals.

"On top of that, we have to bear the operational costs, which include staff salaries, office rental and utility bills."

The MCO was enforced to contain the spread of COVID-19, which has thus far infected 5,072 people in the country, and killed 83.

Globally, the disease have affected 2.08 million people, and over 134,000 people have died from it.

Source: The Sun
Photo source: Astro Awani