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Don't kick us out, plead Labuan car rental operators

Published on: Thursday, December 05, 2013

Labuan: Operators of car rental business at the International Ferry Terminal are crying foul over a notice issued by the Labuan Development Authority (LDA) booting them out of the terminal, saying the action was tantamount to grabbing their business.

The International Ferry Terminal is administered by LDA and located in the centre of the town, it is the hub for marine travel with passenger boat service to Brunei, Kota Kinabalu, Menumbok, Sipitang and Limbang.

There are four car rental counters based at the arrival hall of the terminal.

A convenient location for arriving passengers to secure car rental services.

A spokesperson for the operators said " we have been operating the business for years and after going through difficult times had labourously developed the business and invested in the purchase of vehicles.

"Unfortunately now when the cake has been baked and smell good, instead of appreciating our efforts and role in contributing to tourism, the LDA has given us until December 31st 2013, to vacate to make way for another LDA-appointed operator."

The spokesperson said the operators were at lost to understand the action of LDA " They are virtually asking us to hand over our business to them, is this fair ?"

The spokesperson added that the investment and risks the operators made earlier seemed to had been conveniently forgotten "if LDA wanted to close our counters it should provide good justification, but in this case it was arm-twisting," spokesperson added.

The operators also added that if they relocated it would have adverse impact on their business, operation cost would increase " and we may even be gradually phased out of our trade."

They also noted that car rentals were also at airports operated by private firms and the MAS did not interfere in the business."

They also said that they have pleaded with LDA over the matter but there was no response.

MIC chairman Ramasamy Rengasmay who had been informed about the plight of the operators said that LDA should put hold to its plan.

He said that it was holiday season and travel was at its peak " it is wrong time to disrupt car rental services."

He added that he would discuss with the members of Parliament and seek a solution.