Are taxi drivers in Malaysia really the worst in the world?

What was supposed to be an exciting day for the band turned really ugly after getting in on an old yellow taxi (not the airport limo taxi) with a Malaysian Chinese driver here in Kuala Lumpur.

We were on our way to a photo studio in Jalan Pudu for our band's photoshoot the other day. Since we've been going to that photo studio since 1996 every time our band needs updated photos for our profile in the company, we already know where that is and how near it is from Shangri-La Hotel. Since Marl was sitting infront, he saw the meter which clearly stated RM10.50 when we reached the destination. The driver turned off the meter and he asked for RM25.40! Of course, we asked why? Then he said because we "put a keyboard in the boot" and that costs extra. OH NO!!! The driver thought that we are tourists in KL because we took his taxi from Shangri-La Hotel! Normally, we would let it pass if the driver charges extra RM2 or RM3 for whatever reason, but more than double of the taxi fare price? NO WAY!

We all went down infront of the photo studio including the driver because we wanted to ask him why he would CHEAT like that. But he wasn't consistent with his alibis. He said that we were caught in the jam that's why our meter reached RM24.50. Marthy, Marl, and I disagreed in unison and said we all saw RM10.50 on his meter. How on earth would he come up with RM24.50?

Even though the driver was already yelling at us with arms provoking for a physical fight and trying to explain that we have to pay what the meter says, Marl still talked in his most diplomatic manner and said, "We are not tourists here in Malaysia lah. We've been here for 7 years and you cannot fool us like this. We came here to 'cari makan' (Malaysian slang for 'work'). So you cannot say that we don't know anything about the meter charges because deep inside you, you know that you have cheated us. Why like that?". Then the driver said, "You want you call police to check my meter" - but his meter was already turned off! So Marl said, "Okay, call the police? Call lah!". The driver took his phone and pretended to talk in the phone in Malay to ask the one on the other end of the line to come at our location. Funny thing he forgot to say in his "act" was the exact location and that maybe he thinks I don't know anything about gadgets - his bluetooth headset wasn't blinking at all. What a great pretender! He thought we would be budged by his antic that he's calling his police friend to check on the meter. HAH! Sucks to be him!

So since he wanted an 'act', I gave him an 'act'. I took my phone and 'dialled' Shangri-La Hotel to 'complain'. I took the taxi's plate number and described the taxi and said that the taxi driver was yelling at us. Of course, I wasn't talking to anyone on the phone! But that really got him and maybe he realized he dealt with the wrong guys. HAH!

The driver continued yelling at Marl and so Marl also yelled at him. I was already in between them and I was even thinking of what to do should the driver give Marl a punch. Things were really heating up. The owner of the photo studio stepped out to ask what'e going on. The driver with his red face said that we didn't want to pay him RM24.50 which was the meter charge. He even ushered the photographer to his taxi to show the proof but POOF! He forgot that he turned his meter off and that it was only a 'made up' charge. Hahaha!

The yelling taxi driver in action
So while waiting for his so-called police friend to come, we just continued standing infront of the studio. And you know what this driver said to us in insult? "If you cannot pay me, better tell me that you don't have money or RM 24.50 to pay me. Just don't say I cheat you". What the nerve!!! Marl held out his RM 50 note and said, "I could have even paid you RM 50 if that's the true charge. But you know deep inside you that you have cheated us. Money is not a problem. The problem here is you cheated us. You lied so can take advantage of your passengers. That's the problem!". But the driver couldn't take the accusations and continued yelling at us. He even took Marl's photo with his phone! For what? I don't know. Maybe he finds my husband good-looking? I don't know. LOL. So Marl also took his photo (seen here) and his taxi car number. What an instant photoshoot - outside the studio! LOL.

The plate number of the taxi
To cut the long story short, we ended up paying RM25 because he just wouldn't stop screaming. We paid RM25 for such a short distance which could have been only around RM10. But before I handed over the RM25, Marl said to, "We will pay what you asked for but you will regret. We will get you reported so you won't be able to cheat other passenger especially foreigners anymore". He took RM25 and just turned his back towards his taxi and sped off. WHAT A CROOK!

We already reported this matter to the Shangri-La Hotel so that their guests will be protected. Small things like that can make a big change. My local friends are actually aware of this problem and sad to say, they're worried about how this really affects the tourism in their country. They have worked so hard for their country only to be destroyed by these taxi drivers harassing their passengers.

Maybe in due time, the Malaysian government can prove the whole world wrong that Malaysian taxis are the worst in the world?
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