Hailing Common Sense
Governor I Made Mangku Pastika’s order this week to “arrest the anarchist demonstrators” after hordes of taxi thugs turned up at his office in Denpasar seeking the closure of rival Bali Taxi should make it clear to all troublemakers: You will not be tolerated.
The brute force exhibited by recalcitrant drivers – those who proclaim that Jakarta-based Blue Bird, which operates the Bali Taxi brand, has the lion’s share of the taxi business in Bali – on Monday, where vehicles that offended the louts were bashed and reporters roughed up, is deplorable.
The protestors’ violent actions are even more reprehensible in that foreign tourists were caught up in the fray, their Bali Taxis seized upon as they were en route to their destination. Not only do the driver-demonstrators seek to push Bali Taxi out of Bali, but they don’t especially care if they harm the tourism industry too.
Rather than bothering to probe just why locals and foreigners prefer Bali Taxi to other operators – because of its high standards of safety, reliability and care – this arrogantly selfish lot want rid of them entirely so that they can seize on the business.
Not only do these loutish demonstrations cause hurt to Bali’s all-important international image, but the shady drivers themselves are a tumour that must be cut out. We do not require argumentative taxi drivers that vastly overcharge and rarely use meters.
Along with reviewing the revolting drivers this week, the government should also examine their operations, because oftentimes rogue taxi outfits carve out territories that they proclaim only they can operate in, and should a rival taxi stray into the area, thuggish behaviour ensues.
Many people arriving here have also complained about the monopoly taxi firm at Ngurah Rai International Airport. It charges high fares and there is no alternative means of taxi transport.
Let us have fairness and choice for the consumer. And no more gangster drivers.Filed under: Editorial