I have been a loyal fan of 3rd party driver Apps since I arrived Kuala Lunpur six months ago. Especially since an article came out about Kuala Lumpur having the worst cab drivers in the world. I’m not about to place my life in the hands of careless drivers or dishonest ones like touts. http://m.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/london-cabs-site-rates-kl-taxi-drivers-as-worst-in-the-world

Many cab drivers (not only in Malaysia but in other parts of the world) have requested/ appealed / threatened their government to remove 3rd party private drivers applications as it threatens their livelihood. My standpoint is if the country have an excellent cab safety and regulations, there won’t be a market for companies like Über, Grabtaxi to squeeze through. But enough about my thoughts, let’s see what private drivers think.

Please do note that the drivers I have spoken to have no idea I was conducting an interview, it was all casual conversations between them and me, and in no way represent all the private drivers in the industry or the companies. For the sake of their anonymity, all names have been changed.

The below private drivers are from Malaysia, China and Singapore.

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Trevis, 40s
Part time Private Driver for 3 months

What’s your full time job?
I’m an admin in a training company. Usually, we are only busy in the first half of the year and second half, most of us takes on part time job.

Does your company approve you moonlighting?
Yes, they actually encouraged me to go out and earn extra cash.

What do you think of your job?
I actually like the flexibility it gives me and allow me to plan my free time to do something useful and earns extra pocket money at the same time. All I need is to be polite and keep my car clean, I don’t have to worry about education qualifications.

What do you think about the cab drivers who are against private drivers?
I can understand that we are taking away their income however, this market is huge. Everyone can have a piece of it as long as you work hard enough. There are always people on the streets looking for cabs. There is no harm sharing.

Do you have a story to tell?
There was a time I had to pick up an old lady from a nearby supermarket. The journey is only 5 minutes however, she had so much bags of shopping. I ended up spending another 10 minutes, helping her to bring up everything to her home.

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Lydia, 20s
Part time Private Driver for 4 months

What’s your full time job?
I worked in as a retail manager, managing a few beverage outlets in town. It’s shift work and involves over the weekend most of the time.

Isn’t it tiring to work two jobs?
Yes, it is. Cost of living are arising and I felt that since I am young and single, I can put in more hours to save for my future. I wanted to save up in order to afford to purchase an apartment for my parents and myself.

So why did you choose private driving?
Well, due to my shift work, I can only have jobs that are flexible to my primary work. I used to try other part time jobs or freelancing however, it is not as flexible as this. It’s like owning your own business, it’s up to individual to arrange their timing and how much they want to earn. If you are on the road more, you earn more. Simple as that. If I were to become a cab driver, I’ll have to take time off to take lessons before I am qualified and I have to pay rental for the taxi too. Private driving means I can use my own car to earn my living.

What are your thoughts about government trying to regulate third party driver apps?
I think it is always good to have regulations in place. After all, you can never be too careful on ensuring safety. But don’t ban third party drivers, it’s healthy to have competition. With friendly competition, comes improvements.

Do you have a story to tell?
Once or twice, I get drunk passengers which is amusing and frustrating at the same time. I’m okay if they want to sleep it off as long as they don’t puke in the car. I usually drove around their estate until they are sober enough to get down on their own.

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Jessica, 30s
Full time Private Driver for a month

Why are you driving full time?
I was retrenched from my job. I’m in the media printing industry as the trend moves towards digital, my targets are harder to meet. 3 months ago, my company couldn’t afford to keep most of us and have to let half of the staffing go. For 3 months, I couldn’t find any suitable position until my friend recommended me to drive for a living.

Are you going to do this for a long time?
Frankly speaking, I don’t know. I enjoy it so far because I get to meet all walks of life and talk to many people. Maybe I’ll save enough money to start a small business one day. I’m taking one day at a time.

Any safety issue to be concern of? 
Not really. Passengers have been really polite and reasonable. Although, I do avoid driving late at night, if possible. There is always an safety issue for female drivers, we just need to be alert at all times and try to avoid confrontation.

What are your opinions regarding cab drivers vs third party drivers?
I do sympathize with the cab drivers. Coming from being retrenched, I know how it feels like having your job snatch from you. It’s like having no financial security. However, that being said, I still think we can co-exist in this market and improve the service standards of the industry. It is not as if third party drivers are way cheaper than normal taxi. In the end, passengers just want to get to their destination the fastest and safest way.

Do you have a story to tell?
Once I met this successful businessman, he asked me about my life story and I told him. He said if I ever need a job, he is willing to offer one to me. I didn’t take up the offer because I was too shy and I coldn’t believe my fortune. I still have his namecard though. I think I’ll drop him a call perhaps next year to explore my options.

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30 replies on “Conversation with Private Drivers

  1. Kally, the taxi situation is the same all over the world, it seems like. By those interviews I can tell the good side of the industry, why should they not be allowed in the industry. That’s all the works of the flesh nature in human beings! 🙂

    Now for the grand event in my part, FOR YOUR DELIGHT, HERE IT IS:

    http://dietolive.nowistime.com/ it’s a whopper! Click on it and pass it on if you may please! Don’t forget your comment

    All His love in my heart for you 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Got to work on that! Have the books downloaded good for you? Dying in the Present Living in Eternity is a good one! Let me know how you like it. Hey! I just thought about it? Maybe put your comments in the Portal or Inspirational? We’ll see.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Nay, sweetheart! No do Christmas anymore, 🙂 That’s OK but? A heavy dose of coughing and such? That’s not OK!lol
            Anyhow, not in USA Christian country & family? It is Jordan, no such a thing. Regardless! The joy of my Master is mine year around and in whatever corner of the earth I happen to be by the power of love from on high! Wish the whole world would enjoy such privilege!
            His love in my heart for you, thia

            Liked by 1 person

          2. My Kally, see my report? Now, about this Christmas thing. No, Jordan do not celebrate Christmas. Jordan is a Muslim country. But business in Jordan do take advantage of the occassion for the sake of the Christians here to which lot I do not belong as I stated in my writings.
            Let me know what you think of my WordPress report .
            love, thia.

            Like

  2. It’s not just Kuala Lumpur, I agree with Thia, it is the same all over. If you ever make it to The Bahamas you’ll find out. Even the licensed professional drivers are sometimes reckless and carless in their driving, and please don’t ever hope on one of the public transport jitneys, they’re even worse.
    I do hope Jessica* gets in touch with that guy for the job! Sometimes fear hinders us from our opportunities.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That was very interesting, sharing some cab driver experiences that was fun.

    If I live to be 100 I will never forget riding on a three wheeler taxi in bumper to bumper traffic in Bangkok. We were traveling maybe 60 miles an hour, two of us on the back of that three wheeler, the cab driver weighed about 300 pound, zipping and zagging back and forth in traffic. I was a young man at the time, thought I might have my first heart attack before we got to our destination. The drivers one concern was, did we want to see a excite movie? Only five dollas.
    Thanks again for sharing that

    Like

    1. Hi Leland!! How is your holidays? The 3 wheeler cab you mentioned are called Tuk Tuk and I have sat in it before many times! Haha! Yes, it does make you want to hang on to your dear life as the cab zipped in and out of traffic, sometimes even going on the opposite side of the road!
      I’m glad the article dug out some memories!

      Like

  4. I think the gov’t needs to stay out of it. It’s a ride. I’ve had horrible taxi experiences, too numerous to recount. I say bring the competition and improve the whole industry so the gov’t can focus on something important.

    Liked by 1 person

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