Moonlighting as pirate taxi drivers to supplement income

MIRI: To supplement family income is the most common reason for some housewives who moonlight as pirate taxi drivers in the city.

Many of them are operating at E-mart Commercial Centre and at Senadin, in the northern part of the city.

Prices of goods are getting more and more expensive nowadays, and I moonlight as a pirate taxi driver to supplement my family income. I use my free time, but it is not a daily activity for me, said an operator, who declined to be identified.

Most of them look for passengers along and around E-mart Commercial Centre as the area is quite difficult to get public transport.

We do not simply pick up passengers for safety reasons. We usually bring passengers whom we know or who have used our services. They are mostly women with children or the elderly.

Sometimes, they call us to send and fetch them from their houses to certain places, such as Tudan polyclinic or E-mart, she added.

She said they would bring passengers in housing areas in Permyjaya, Tudan and Senadin.

We usually dont bring passengers to city centre or beyond for fear of our safety, and we are not doing this full time. We will bring passengers whom we know to city centre, but it also very much depend on the timing, she added.

The fares are based according to the area or destination.

The minimum charge is RM3 per passenger and it depends on where they want to be sent or fetched, she added.

Most of us do this after we send our children to school and while waiting for them to go back. We also make sure there is time for us to prepare meals for the family, she added.

They feel it is part of their responsibility to assist their husbands in earning extra income to support their family with the escalating prices of goods and services lately.