Some 300 taxi drivers had gathered together to stage a protest against ride-sharing apps Uber and GrabCar in front of Pavilion Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur this morning
The demonstration began at 10am, with taxi drivers occupying the street along Jalan Bukit Bintang, near the Pavillion Mall, by parking their vehicles by the roadside.
The group is particularly unhappy with the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) and its chief, Syed Hamid Albar, and they demanded that he be replaced.
Traffic police responded by blocking the surrounding roads to prevent more taxis from entering the protest area.
The protest had brought traffic to a standstill around the vicinity
The protest was shortlived as police moved in and arrested at least five taxi drivers about two hours later, after the group of protesters failed to disperse by 12 noon
Police spoke to the head of the protest group at 11.30am, advising the crowd to disperse.
Among those who were detained by police was Malaysian Taxi Driver Transformation Association deputy president Kamarudin Mohd Hussain.
"We were there to protest against Uber and GrabCar," Kamarudin told The Star via mobile phone as he was taken by the police in front of Pavilion.
Protests against ride-hailing apps have been prevalent in various parts of the world recently.
Just last week, protest against Uber by thousands of taxi drivers in Jakarta took a violent turn as drivers attacked each other.
The protesters blocked roads outside the parliament, the city administration offices and the ministry of communication, causing massive traffic jams. Tyres were set on fire in at least one location.bbc.com
It was the second major protest by taxi drivers in Jakarta this month. They say competition from ride-hailing apps, which don’t face the same costs and rules as regular taxis, has severely reduced their income. Many of the drivers come to Jakarta from other parts of Indonesia and support their families as taxi drivers.theguardian.com
Beyond South East Asia, taxi drivers from countries like London, Italy and Brazil, have also staged protests against the use of the Uber application in their respective countries
Closer to home, protests against private hire vehicle companies have also been rampant in Malaysia in the last year: