I am writing in response to the opinion piece “Kapok: Red card for yellow cabs” by Eric Sautedé in last Friday’s Macau Daily Times.
Whilst wholeheartedly agreeing with the grand majority and general thrust of Mr Sautedé’s article, I should point out some inaccuracies in the article.
I am not the founder of the Macau Taxi Driver Shame Facebook group. It was in fact founded by a local man, Mr Sloane Jorba, after a particular horrific experience with Macau’s black taxis. I was however one of the very first members of the group and am the most active administrator. I guess I have become the “face” of the group over time, although that was not my initial intention.
Mr Sautedé claims Macau Taxi Driver Shame is “designed to humiliate and discriminate against part of the community, making it very divisive and a trigger for equally acrimonious counter-strategies from those ‘shamed’.” While I accept Mr Sautedé goes on to acknowledge some virtues of our group and the Macau Taxi Passenger Association which was born from Macau Taxi Driver Shame, our group is not designed to “humiliate and discriminate”. All we are doing is shining a light on (or, if you prefer, holding up a mirror to) the chronically unethical and illegal behavior of some (perhaps most) of Macau’s taxi drivers. It is not MTDS which is divisive; it is the bad taxi drivers themselves, who divide their prospective customers into “gullible mainlander tourists” and “everyone else”, preferring to scam the former whilst ignoring the essential transportation needs of the latter. And so far we have seen little, if any, “acrimonious counter-strategies from those ‘shamed’.”
Mr Sautedé continues, “It creates a cycle of distrust and, although it allows disgruntled users to vent their repressed resentment, ultimately it addresses the symptoms and not the ailment.” I would contend it was the drivers themselves who created the cycle of distrust. As for addressing “the symptoms and not the ailment”, I would dispute that entirely. We have reiterated time and time again that we are a long-term forward-thinking group, constantly looking for ways to address the issue holistically on a systemic basis.
I should, however, reiterate that I enjoyed and agreed with Mr Sautedé’s article on the whole, especially his closing line, “All stakeholders have to be involved if the whole community is to benefit in the end.”
Andrew W Scott
President, Macau Taxi Passengers Association
Administrator, Macau Taxi Driver Shame Facebook group