TOURIST van driver Eddy Yap Guan Cheng claimed he was sent to pick up a group of Indonesian tourists at the Penang International Airport but ended up having to leave the place empty handed and a painful limb.
He said a tour agency had paid him and another van driver, Tan Eu Kok, to pick up 12 Indonesians on May 28.
However, as they were driving out from the airport at 2.30pm, about 20 airport limousine drivers blocked the road and forced them to get out, alleged Yap, 59.
"When they demanded to see my permit, I showed them my Puspakom sticker. Dissatisfied with this, one of them tried to punch me on the eye but I managed to avoid this. However, he managed to kick me on the thigh, causing me to fall down.
"They then ordered the passengers to get out of our vans and told us to drive off," he told a press conference called by state Tourism, Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang at Komtar recently.
Yap had lodged a police report at the airport police station on the same day.
Law said he had received many complaints from hotel and hospital operators on their difficulties in picking up their customers from the airport because of the airport taxi drivers.
However, he said, the state government is unable to do anything.
"It is up to the police and other relevant authorities to solve the problem," he said.
He said such incidents would tarnish Penang tourism image.
Law said he would urge the police to take stern against the errant taxi drivers.
Penang Airport Limousine Drivers Association chairman Noor Ashikin Amman said he was not aware of the matter and declined to comment.