Friday 4 April 2008

KLIA the Third World's Best Airport, is Riddled with Taxi-touts!

Wildly Overrated, Rather Lackadaisical, Dishevelled, Stained
Brazened, Emboldened Stinking Taxi-touts

Transport Minister says he Will Tackle Taxi Tout Problem at KLIA

Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat has said steps must be taken to identify the root causes behind the problem of touts at KL International Airport (KLIA), saying, it was not merely enough to catch the touts and charge them in court.

“We need to find better ways of dealing with them, by cooperating with the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board.

Ong was talking to reporters whilst on a ‘working’ visit to the overcrowded Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), underutilised main terminal.

Ong taking a look at apron facilities airside at the LCCT of KLIA on Thursday 4th April 2008, accompanied by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd managing director Bashir Ahmad (right) and chairman Aris Othman.

“We will have to enforce the law but catching them does not mean it will resolve the problem. We have to identify the weaknesses in our public transport system, which has enabled touts to exist.”

“The high demand for shuttle services to the city and the lack of airport limousines to cater for this demand is one of the contributing factors,” he told reporters after his first visit to the very quiet KLIA main terminal, and the backyard bursting-at-the-seams Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT).

Ong stated he had gone through (I wonder he he bothered to read them?) some of the e-mail he had received from the public in relation to the problem of touts.

“We must be mindful of all these complaints,” he said.

He said MOT officials had attended a meeting organised by Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Noh Omar earlier this week.

“This is the first of a series of meetings we will have to counter the touts’ problem. We want to be proactive but we also want to make it clear to the public that certain things are beyond our jurisdiction,” he said, adding that the ministry of transport was not trying to be evasive or trying to fudge the issue.

His words really sound like perfect examples of circumlocution, fudging, cock-talk, and verbal diarrhoea to me, just note some of the words used

‘need to find better ways of dealing with them’

‘mindful’, ‘meetings’, ‘proactive’, ‘beyond our jurisdiction’, blaah, blaah, blaah……

Was he speaking pure unadulterated bullshit?

The way Ong Tee Keat was talking one cannot help but assume that some people in high places must be supportive the touts who are preying on the passengers using KLIA, and that the airport police have been instructed to ignore them!

In recent days I have been to KLIA, both the LCCT and the main terminal, and the taxi-touts are alive a well, sneaking about harassing arriving passengers, tying to con them into using their vehicles for transfer to Kuala Lumpur or elsewhere, the rate they charge cannot be described as anything else but an extortionate rip-off. I overheard a rate of RM 300.00 being quoted for a one-way transfer to a KL city centre hotel.

Don’t hold your breath folks, it took 10 years for Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd. to wake up, realize there was a problem, and effect the changes which have very recently been made to shift the Airport Taxi (Officially called Airport Limousines, many of the vehicles used could best be described as 'old bangers') Service Coupon Sale Booths to a position which arriving passengers can clearly see, formally it was behind arriving passengers when they walked out of the arrival hall exit doors into the public area, no wonder folks never saw them!

One small step has been made, but that was 10 years in the making!

The airport taxi-touts bring great shame and dishonour to KLIA and to Malaysia, whoever has the authority, should singly or jointly take immediate effective action to totally rid KLIA and all other Malaysian airports of the scourge of the touts.

The Kuala Lumpur International Airport has 'won' many so called awards, but when one sees the taxi-touts, in addition to poorly maintained facilities, the dirty toilets with broken fittings and the aroma of stale urine, parks in a car park parking lot which is slimy with oil, and when the flight information system both at the airport and on-line is not efficient, it makes me wonder on what basis were the various awards awarded.


Awards & Recogition, as boasted about on the KLIA web-site

".... 2007
1. KLIA was awarded "The Brand Laureate", the Grammy Awards for branding for Best Brands Transportation Airport 2006-2007. 2. KLIA has been chosen as 'The Most Outstanding Establishment in the...

.... 2006
1. KL International Airport (KLIA) was voted Best Airport in the 15-25 million passengers per annum category in the recently announced AETRA 2005 results. 2. KLIA also bagged third place for both...

.... 2005
1. The Free Commercial Zone (FCZ) at KLIA received the MS ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management Systems for the scope of management of FCZ covering issuance of licences and monitoring of the movement of...

.... 2004
1. KLIA received the "Gold Award" for the Advertising Award by Air Transport World (ATW) magazine. The award was based on the Integrated for Ease advertising campaign, which was created for the...

.... 1998
1.1st in the 15 to 25 mppa category for business passengers. (based on IATA Global Airport Monitor...

.... 1999
1. 6th position for overall satisfaction for all categories. (based on IATA Global Airport Monitor 2000) 2. 5th in the 15 to 25 mppa category for leisure passengers. (based on IATA Global Airport...

.... 2000
1. Best airport in the Asia Pacific for category 15 to 25 mppa by Airport Service Excellence 2000. 2. 2nd most improved airport for 15 to 25 mppa by Airport Service Excellence 2000. 3. 2nd in...

.... 2001
1. 2nd best airport in worldwide survey by Skytrax Research, a British based air travel industry research company. 2. KLIA was one of the recipients of the National Special Landcape Awards 2001...

.... 2002
1. 3rd best airport in Asia, after Singapore and Hong Kong, based on the 16th Asian Freight Industry Awards 2002 (AFIA), organised by Cargonews Asia publication. 2. The Pan Pacific Hotel KL...

.... 2003
1. KLIA was voted best emerging airport in Asia in the category for handling less than 500,000 tonnes of cargo annually at the Asian Freight & Chain Supply Awards 2003 (AFSCAs). 2. KLIA was among..."


KLIA's horrendous web-site! I shall leave that for another post.

Cura nihil aliud nisi ut valeas

- Pay attention to nothing except that you do well.

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