I note with interest that TDM covered the once-contentious Macau taxi issue on their Sunday forum over the weekend – and a mere 12 people attended! Secretly, I am pleased so few people turned up. That might seem strange but I see it as a great sign that all the heat has left this issue. There has now been a dramatic reduction in activity on the Macau Taxi Driver Shame Facebook group. Why has the heat left the issue? Because the issue is essentially solved under the current paradigm of strict enforcement by the PSP. The prevalence of taxi fishing in Macau is down from almost 100% saturation to surely less than 10%. Anything above 0% is wrong, but I think anything less than 10% is bearable.
In fact, the “new normal” of taxis is starting to really bite amongst the “evil” drivers. I am anecdotally hearing of so-called “rogue” drivers shrugging their shoulders and leaving the industry. They are starting to accept their fate. The days of fishing, cheating and lying to their customers are over. This isn’t just a one-month blitz, this is a sustained and ongoing change of paradigm in their industry. My message to them is either start servicing customers properly or get out!
I can’t offer enough congratulations to Mr Wong Sio Chak, Secretary for Security (and therefore in charge of the PSP). From what I have heard about him he is a tough guy, and that’s great. That’s exactly what this issue needed. I hear he’s also getting tough on other aspects of Macau traffic problems. Great! Congratulations also to Mr Rosario (the Secretary for Transport and Public Works) who is no doubt working with Mr Wong on this.
We here at the Macau Taxi Passengers Association were sometimes critical of the government when there was no enforcement, so to be fair we need to praise the government when they get something right. Thank you, Mr Wong Sio Chak for being the man behind this tough enforcement which has been so successful in transforming Macau’s taxi industry – almost overnight. Thank you so much. I’ve never met you in person but if I ever do I shall shake your hand so hard you might feel like it’s going to fall off!
I really thought with the level of apathy we sometimes see in Macau that it would be impossible for the PSP to sustain the strict enforcement on the taxi industry that they have. But it’s now been three and a half months and there is no let up!
Whatever is being done to motivate those policemen to go out there and enforce against the bad taxi drivers, keep doing it, please! Fantastic job, it’s great to see someone in public office in Macau having such an impact that directly affects the day-to-day well-being of the citizens of Macau. Well done, Mr Wong.
A final comment: We still do need a new system for issuing taxi licenses in Macau. The old system is broken. And we need the new proposed legislation passed – the legislation proposed as part of the public consultation process DSAT set in motion on the Macau taxi industry almost a year ago. If we don’t get that legislation passed, the taxi industry might go back to what it once was. And we never want to see that terrible state of affairs rear its ugly head in Macau again.
Andrew W Scott
Macau Taxi Passengers Association