Kuala Lumpur is probably the only city I know that has the word “Welcome” proudly displayed on their taxis, when in actual fact what they REALLY meant was…
“Welcome. Except when you want to go to Bangsar during peak hours, then you’re not welcome.”
“Welcome. Sure, I’ll drive you from Kelana Jaya LRT Station to One Utama. And you’re welcome to pay me an extra RM2 for that service. Meanwhile, I’ll pretend to ignore that bright yellow shuttle bus right in front of my taxi that’s gonna take you to your destination FOR FREE.”
“Welcome. Here at KL International Airport, our taxi drivers make you feel very welcome by loitering around the arrival hall, and making kissing sounds at you to draw your attention.”
“Welcome. I’m a taxi driver and I don’t know where Sheraton Hotel is despite the fact that it’s a major international hotel located right smack in the center of the city. No worries though, you’re still welcome onboard while I drive around the block pretending to know where it is, until I finally succumbed to my taxi driver ego and asked for directions.”
“Welcome. You’re welcome to load your own luggage into my car boot YOURSELF while I sit my lazy ass in the car not lifting a finger.”
“Welcome. Our taxis say ‘Bermeter’ (meter in use), but you are more than welcome to ignore that.”
“Welcome. Wait… what? You want to go to some ulu out-of-town suburb? Sorry, not welcome!”
“Welcome. I’m a multi-lingual taxi driver, and you are welcome to hear me swear, in 5 different languages, at that fucking pukima who just cut into my lane.”

Next time you take a taxi in our nation’s capital, be prepared to feel very, very welcome.

OMG I just missed my flight back to Kuching! BY TEN MINUTES! Arrrggghhhhh! Stupid AirAsia.

68 Replies to “Welcome”

  1. KL’s probably the worst place on the planet when it comes to not only getting a cab, but also dealing with their cut throat prices and their refusal to go to certain destinations. Worst lot, bunch of lazy bums who think by sitting in their cabs will earn interest.
    I live in Bangkok where the cabs here go by meter, and only at 5pm when they end their shifts they need to get back in time not to incur extra rental fee. I think the government should intervene otherwise its continually hurting the tourism trade. Totally appalling as a Malaysian.

  2. that’s KL or u could say it’s KL culture. We KLians are used to the taxis behaviour and attitude. I use to hate that and understand how u felt but after listening to the voices and opinions of taxi drivers, in addition to that my uncle was a cabbie as well, I got a better picture of a cabbie’s life. The increase in fuel prices, car rental, congestion( some might think the cabs earn more in traffic jams but it’s the other way round)and heck the government is not even increasing the starting rate of txi that is RM2. I can tell u honestly that they r earning chicken feed if they conduct everything legally. However it is also not a good thing to do it. This is life, they r always the pros and the cons.

  3. hahaha! KL just loves you too much. 😀 No need to go back to Kuching.
    and it’s seriously amazing how you can write so much entertaining stuff, inspired by just “welcome/jemput naik” on the screen of the cabs!
    *Mei bows at ya*

  4. My thoughts precisely. When I went back to M’sia last year, I had the ‘luck’ to take taxis. The first time was pleasant, which was surprising… especially in KL. I should’ve known it was a trap. I went back for more, with each encounter worse than the previous one.
    What I don’t understand is how picky taxi drivers can be.. Refusing to go certain places during peak hours, for example. It’s not like they don’t get paid for the time they’re stuck in traffic. It’s not as if it’s “Traffic-free Guaranteed! Or Your Money Back!” Once, I agreed to pay this guy extra if there was a traffic jam. In the taxi, he kept saying: “RM5 more! You sure you want?” I kept saying yes… It was annoying. Then, turns out there was no traffic jam. He STILL charged an extra RM5.
    I think M’sians are just too used to the “taxi culture” – until we think it’s ok, it’s normal… although it’s not.

  5. Once a KL cab driver though I was from usa, got me in his cab and started driving, didn’t run the meter, he told me to give $x for the ride. I got pissed and confronted him in Malay. And started preaching him. We argued a little bit. And he asked me to get out. HAHAHA!

  6. luckily we dun see that in Singapore…
    at least not as rampant…but I still dun trust taxi drivers cos many of them will cheat customer’s money by taking the longer route…

  7. I think the Malay taxi drivers in Malaysia are actually kinder than the Chinese taxi drivers.. well at least they have a smile on their face.
    Bloody chinese fooks always fucking scold me for not speaking cantonese/mandarin… fucking scold me through the whole fucking journey…. fuckers…

  8. harhar!! when i was in KL recently with my family…the taxi services were ( most probably still are) like shit!! They refused to use the meters and charged S$10 for a short distance, super uncool if you’re a tourist. Imagine if they saw an Ang Moh, they will prob milk them dry…..Even Bangkok has better control over their taxis.

  9. like, in Johore, when you reach the end of the causeway, loads of people would ambush you and ask (read: force) you to take a ride in their taxis. i don’t think they are still there now. dont know.

  10. It’s amazing how taxi drivers can squeeze through the tiniest spaces. Between two trucks side-by-side? No problem. Two-feet wide pedestrian walkway? Pfft. Through the eye of a needle? Blindfolded. So it goes without saying that only cabbies will make it to Heaven, and maybe Calista Flockhart.
    Kenny, on the other hand, didn’t even make the flight.

  11. Oh my god, I had the exact same feeling run through my head when I was trying to halt a cab at Damansara Heights at 6pm when I saw the ironic WELCOME sign on the window.
    We must be psychic

  12. Hey man, you know i got ripped off one time in KL. I used a coach to KL from Sg, from Times Square to Sunway, the damn taxi driver maybe got his taxi metre modified or something, resulting a taxi fare of RM37.40. How shitty was that?! I hate KL cabbies. All crooks and liars. Not all though

  13. I don’t think that the cabbies should behave that way, but do consider the following:
    a) The government grants taxi license to crony companies who farm them out to drivers at a high per day cost. Most have to bear the rental charges and if they are sick or ill, they lose money on rental. Repairs cost have to be borne by the drivers. If I am them, I will tweak the meters too.
    b) Fuel prices have risen drastically, but they are prevented from raising prices by the government.
    c) Other public transportation are so shitty that we are forced to rely on them. If there is a captive audience, you don’t expect service to improve, no?
    d) Enforcement for service violations are non-existent.

  14. Hey Kenny! Happy Belated Birthday! Forgot you were from Perth too:) Very nice meeting you. You are definitely one of the most level headed celebrity i met 🙂

  15. It’s a universal thing…anywhere you go in the world cabbies sport the same standard demeanor…there are always exceptions of course but they are exactly that: exceptions.
    That or I have the misfortune of crossing paths with rude people from anywhere in the world, all the time.

  16. It’s a universal thing…anywhere you go in the world cabbies sport the same standard demeanor…there are always exceptions of course but they are exactly that: exceptions.
    That or I have the misfortune of crossing paths with rude people from anywhere in the world, all the time.

  17. Ahh..AirAsia…
    I was 10 minutes late too from flying from Penang to Johor. The ticketing counter told me to be at the gate 10 minutes before departure time, and I got there exactly 10 minutes before (ie. I synchorize my watch with that atomic clock thing you see on internet, so it’s accurate to nano second), and I saw the airplane on the runway getting ready to jet.
    Funny thing was, I was greeted by 3 Air Asia staffs at the gate, and before I could say anything (my face was still “Hey…is that my plane”), and they started scolding me. Yup, there’s this dude who got pissy and started telling me how he paged me 2 times to get my perky ass to the gate. I told him I was asked to be here 10 minutes before so here I am, but why is my plane already on the runway. That means that you close the gate 15 minutes before I was told be here. For the next 20 minutes, all I could hear from him was “I paged you”, “Sorry, no refund”, and “Hmmmm, nice ass”.
    So, to Tony Fernandez, you really have some bucking up to do. Oh, I’m still harassing the dude who scolded. Still trying to write my legal letter…….

  18. Hmm… Air Asia should change their slogan to
    “Air Asia- NOT everyone can fly” instead of “Now everyone can fly”

  19. I took AirAsia to come back to KL this morning and the flight was delayed for half an hour… Judging from experience (hehe…) AirAsia is never early nor on time, so you must be really late. Cannot wake up? XD
    You never know there is a free shuttle bus to One Utama? Wuahahahahahaha… Too bad ;p

  20. To be fair, I did have rare instances of getting a good taxi driver in KL.
    I had this Indian taxi driver one morning who did everything right to the T and more. I even offered him tips but he wouldn’t accept it. He took my ten ringgit note, folded it, put it underneath the Hindi statue on his dashboard, then bowed and said to me “You’re my first customer for the day so I have to do everything right. This one is for my God.”
    I felt great for the rest of the day.

  21. kenny next time dun take airasia…u so rich taukeh kia………u can even afford a private jet like Trump……….sigh still pretend

  22. I agree that JB cabby sucks! I hate them. Esp at the custom one, they cut ur throat like hell.. PS: Singaporeans remember nt to take cab there, it is nt tat I hate my country, but earning a living is nt easy we shld nt let them rob us..

  23. kenny, in klia,NEVER EVER settle for anything but the airport limo…more expensive it may be but it wouldn’t give you these sort of problems… 😛
    and don’t trust cab drivers in kl..keke…i usually call a taxi uncle i know who will guaranteed go by meter wan…. 🙂
    anyways, too bad you missed your flight. airasia…’nuff said.. 😛

  24. Awww… come on Kenny not all the KL taxi drivers are that bad…but I must agree that those that are bad are real damn smack ass nasty
    1) they do open the boot and help you with your luggage
    2) they do tell you if they do not know the location you requested for
    3) some even gave me discounts of ermm like 20 sen. Well mayb because i am a student. Or was it mayb he does not have small change
    and if you are at KLIA maybe try taking the KLIA express for RM 35
    and yes please do ask if they run meter before entering. Sometimes during peak festive season or late at nite when there are aint no darn bus they will take advantage.
    and never never ever enter a taxi at night if there are 2 person (the driver and his frens) inside.

  25. dude why do u have to remind the readers again and again that u used to be in perth. its annoying. you’re in kuching now…deal with it. so fucking pretentious. you know what? just put a big banner on the sides with big bold fonts that screams ur short stay in perth. that way you wont have to blog about it a hundred times a year.

  26. diana obviously you didn’t read this post before you comment on it because no where in this entry did he say the word ‘perth’. maybe you should tattoo the words that scream I SHOULD READ BEFORE I COMMENT in big bold fonts on your forehead. that way you remind yourself everytime you look at the mirror.

  27. I so totally agree to your post. My friends and I are Malaysian but because we were all expat kids, we don’t speak fluent Malay or Cantonese. We fucking get cheated every single time we go to KL. It’s just plain disgusting, now I’m not even telling my friends to go to KL unless they have any KL residents with them.
    Ang Mohs that have been living in KL for the past 5 years and know the road around KL. When they have to call for a cab, they still get cheated even after they tell the taxi driver which road they wanna go.
    And the irony? Even a local Malaysian was telling me “Hey, they do this to the locals as well -shrug-”
    What the hell? This is a neverending cycle of BAD BAD BAD image for Malaysia since KL is the capital.
    I agree with a comment up there as well. I have no idea why Chinese taxi drivers can be so fucking rude. My rare encounters with honest taxi drivers have been Malays.

  28. I have not experience that kl Chinese taxi drivers are rude, but wait until you experince what i have and this happen in Malacca, Malay Taxi drivers, i was goin to work so took taxi to old bus station cost RM1.And along e way at Fajar Shopping Complex the drivers try to take some more passengers which is 3 Pakistani, i guess. And the Pakistani refused as they find e fare expansive, they were being charged RM15 to some where (i forget the place name). Then the next thing the drivers kick me out of the taxi and offer the pakistani to seat an empty taxi. I was so pissed off, i scold the taxi driver, and he scold back, then i said why in the first place you take me in. End up no passengers taking his taxi, in my heart was cursing and said serve him right. But lucky i was not late for work. Malay Taxi drivers are actually the same rude.

  29. Try taxis in Pahang. I took one with dicso lights installed in it and the lights flashed to the sound and rhythm of the disco music. When I reached my destination, the taxi driver demanded an extra 20 sen. I asked him what was that for. He explained that’s for the disco light!!!!!
    He didn’t know that I got a migraine from it.

  30. I took a cab to KLIA before, the driver keep on scratching his balls all the way while telling dirty jokes, and his daughter (around 7-8 years old) was sleeping at the back full with newspapers, keropok wrappers, and even cockroaches. T_T

  31. To be fair, I did have rare instances of getting a good taxi driver in KL.
    I had this Indian taxi driver one morning who did everything right to the T and more. I even offered him tips but he wouldn’t accept it. He took my ten ringgit note, folded it, put it underneath the Hindi statue on his dashboard, then bowed and said to me “You’re my first customer for the day so I have to do everything right. This one is for my God.”
    I felt great for the rest of the day.
    Posted by: kennysia at November 29, 2005 07:18 PM
    >> That’s so touching.
    I think owning a CAR is the most important thing if you’re living in Malaysia. The taxi drivers are so horrible! Luckily I dont have the habit of taking taxis in M’sia.
    Nice entry

  32. LoL That’s creative. AirAsia, despite their well known RM2 air fare provide one of the cheapest and ‘dodgiest’ flights around in my opinion 🙂

  33. everytime i visit your blog,yourposts are always flocked with comments! AMAZING! NEVER LESS THAN 50!! amazing amazing!!!!
    anyway i hate kl taxis. cant believe my own ppl try to cheat me of my money. One cabbie was slamming another cabbie when I told her that the one in front tried to charge me 10RM for a 5 minit ride .. she slam slam slammmmed…. and when i reached my destination, I gave her the 6RM that she told me before I got on. BUt she said “3RM more. Because my cab is a more powerful proton than the one earlier. Thats why that driver is mad to try to charge you 10RM for the ride because his cab is cheaper. no insurance. Mine you have to pay surcharge of 3RM on top of the meter”
    GAADDDAAAMITT!!cilaka betul…

  34. Well I once took a cab where the cabbie was wearing sunglasses and had his hair combed to an extent that he looked like Agent Smith from The Matrix. The way he stared, the way he spoke, the way he drove… Most uncomfortable 20 minute ride of my life…
    But he turned out to be the most honest taxi driver I met yet… Pity i only noticed that after i got out of the cab.

  35. air asia is suck, lousy service and urgly staff.The damn air asia staff no manners at all! hey who the hell u think u r? i think both malay and chinese taxi driver suck too…


  37. low fare airticket what do you all expect next time go early to wait for the plane not the plane wait for you nobody force you to use airasia,kalau tidak puas jalan kaik or just swim across the sea bodoh babi.

  38. i’ve call airasia call centre using 0387754000 for call within malaysia today. the answering voice machine just keep telling me to wait until there are available customer service officer. i’ve waiting until more then 10 minutes and suddenly no more connection. it is because my phone prepaid credit have been deduct from $28.19 to only 26 cent left. they stole my $27.93 just using their phone line. to make it worst, i’ve not yet talk to their customer service and they already charged $27.93. wtf . so anybody who wish to call their call center…. just forget it.. it is better to buy a lot of food for your stomach than be cheated like me

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