We interrupt our Bali programming for a good old fashioned rant. The taxi services in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are bad. Really bad. There’s two problems. First of all, the drivers are lazy. They very rarely can be bothered to drive you anywhere unless they are paid a lot for it. Secondly, they’re dishonest. I think they’re more lazy than dishonest, but dishonest they are! OK, so perhaps I shouldn’t lump all drivers in Kuala Lumpur into the same basket. It’s not fair to the 5 that are hard working honest men.
So this is how it goes down in Kuala Lumpur. You go to a taxi stand and are about to hop in the cab and the driver asks you where you’re going. When you state where, they quote a price. The law in Kuala Lumpur is that prices must be determined by the meter, but 90% of drivers refuse to use the meter when tourists get in the car. So what does this mean? You either pay about 4 times as much as the real fare or you just don’t travel by cab because it is too much of a hassle to constantly flag down cabs only for them to quote ridiculous prices. And they’re not even nice about it. My experience has generally been that not only are they incredibly shifty, they’re rude too — especially when you challenge them and insist on the meter.
One guy I challenged insisted that the meter doesn’t pay him enough. So instead, he rips tourists off. But not just by a little bit so he can make ends meet, by a factor of four just for good measure. In reality, if it’s not good enough pay, he should get a job doing something else.
So this is my message to the universe to say that Kuala Lumpur really needs to do something about the taxi situation because at the moment it is unworkable and makes travel around the city very difficult when you’re not near a train line.