A group of 11 e-hailing drivers in Seberang Perai, Penang, were nabbed by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) in a crackdown operation for deceiving passengers.

According to a report by Bernama, these drivers are charging a higher fare than shown on the mobile app, or even worse, not using the app at all when ferrying customers.

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“During the operation, 14 vehicles were inspected and drivers of 11 vehicles were caught using the app price guide but not pressing the ‘accept button’ after passengers had agreed to the fare,” said JPJ Penang director Adenan Md Isa.

“This would mean they won’t have to pay the 20% commission to the app company,” he added, saying that some drivers even raise the price by up to RM20 than what was shown on the app.

The drivers are stopped during the Ops Khas E-Hailing Haram conducted on June 23 and 29, 2021, outside the Covid-19 Low-Risk Quarantine and Treatment Centre (PKRC) in Jawi and Seberang Perai Selatan district police headquarters (IPD SPS).

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According to JPJ Pulau Pinang, the operations are carried out following complaints from ride-hailing users. The illegal e-hailing drivers would target those who have just received their Covid-19 vaccines, or completed their quarantine at the PKRC in Jawi, Penang.

The 11 drivers will be investigated under Section 12(5)(D) of the Land Public Transport Act 2010, and if found to be guilty, will be fined between RM1,000 and RM200,000, or jailed for not more than two years, or both.

The department said that it will continue holding such operations, and action will be taken against ride-hailing drivers who flout the rules and laws that have been set for public interest.

Times are tough, so it’s understandable that people are trying to earn income wherever they can – but that shouldn’t be an excuse to cheat or deceive others for your own benefit. Everyone is going through similar struggles right now, and it’s only when we do our part to help each other that we can all get over the pandemic and rebuild our lives. Kita jaga kita.