CERTAIN AND FAIR: Dr Chan (seated) and Wee (right) give the thumbs-up to the new metered taxi during the launch at the Kuching Taxi Station. Looking on is Sarawak Taxi Association chairman Lim Siaw Khiung.
KUCHING: Taxi drivers in the state will be equipped with language booklets and CDs to help them communicate better with tourists.
Tourism and Heritage Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan said the move would not cost much but would be very useful for both drivers and tourists.
“Not many of our taxi drivers speak foreign languages, so this will be helpful and increase the quality of service,” he said when launching the meter charging system for taxis at the Kuching Taxi Station yesterday.
Having language courses for the taxi drivers would not be very practical as most of them were very busy, he added.
“We will also produce language CDs they can play in the taxi and listen when they are free. The move may take some time to implement as there is a need to get feedback from the taxi drivers themselves,” said Dr Chan, who is a deputy chief minister, adding that they should know what was best for them.
On the launch of the metered taxis, Dr Chan expressed his hope that it would help improve the business.
“You will know exactly how much you have to pay. It’s only RM10 for the first three kilometres, then RM1.20 for every kilometre after that,” he said.
“Our tourists will love this. They know how much they have to pay and secondly, the locals will also use it.”
Sarawak Tourism Federation president Wee Hong Seng said he had been waiting for the day for years.
“Members of the Sarawak Taxi Association have important roles as frontliners to provide comfortable and pleasing journeys to tourists,” he said.
“They are one of our important tourism ambassadors for the promotion of repeat visits by overseas visitors to Sarawak.”