Proton To Design ‘Malaysian’ Taxi
Under the plan mooted by the Cabinet recently, existing taxis comprising different makes and models will gradually be phased out and replaced with a standard model that would also be fitted with a fuel-saving device as well as the NGV kit.
Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperation Datuk Noh Omar said the government has asked Proton to design a taxi that could be uniquely identified as a “Malaysian taxi”.
“The existing taxis come in varying sizes and sometimes are not comfortable for foreigners, especially those of bigger built or with extra luggage since the smaller taxis retrofitted with NGV kits have less storage space. Therefore, we need a special model that would have the space and comfort, together with a unique design,” he said.
Noh said the government hoped that Proton would be able to roll out the taxi model by 2010.
Proton managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said the company would study the request by the government as a change in design required extensive research and development. He estimated that about 50,000 taxis on the road in Malaysia were of Proton models.
Syed Zainal said there had been a higher demand now for cars fitted with NGV kits, both for taxis and retail vehicles. He said the national carmaker would start fitting new taxis with the NGV kits at its factory as it would be cheaper and carry a warranty, rather than retrofitting as done elsewhere by taxi owners currently.
He said Proton expected to start rolling out its new taxis with the NGV kit by year-end. (The Edge Daily)
***** The government's decision and Proton's commitment should be lauded. However it is the quality of the drivers of these taxis which is seriously doubted and indeed very worrying.
A recent survey revealed that our cabbies are among the worst in the world. Quite a few of them are mercenaries out for a quick kill, both literally and figuratively, and this is one area which will require a lot of work. Care must be taken to ensure that not every Tom, Dick and Khairy be allowed to man these cabs. Easier said than done since taxi politics is inextricably intertwined with that of Umno's.
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