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Tuesday, 27 August, 2002, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Malaysia's rude cabbies 'should be shot'
Kuala Lumpur skyline
Cab drivers in Kuala Lumpur are said to cheat tourists
Malaysia's tourism minister has suggested that taxi drivers who are rude to tourists should be "lined up against the wall and shot".


I am not joking

Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, Malaysian tourism minister
Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said cabbies who took advantage of the country's visitors were the "new enemies... the same as Communists".

"I am not joking, This is a serious matter. If they can be shot, all the better," he was quoted as saying by the Malay-language Berita Harian newspaper.

The minister was commenting on a report that about 70% of taxi drivers in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, would cheat tourists by using different meters or driving on long detours.

Frequent complaints

Tourism is Malaysia's second biggest source of foreign exchange, after the manufacturing industry, with 12.8 million tourists visiting in 2001.

The minister said he had been stopped in the street by tourists complaining of their treatment by taxi drivers.

He said he would make his proposals to fellow ministers during their cabinet meeting.

He added that he would also call for lesser punishment for errant cabbies, including jail and suspension of their taxi licenses for life.

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