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If you depend a lot on Grab and e-hailing, there might be unpleasant surprises after July 12

POSTED BY Yamin Vong ON 18 March 2019

 

 

MOT Anthony Loke: Suddenly no Grab in July?

By YS Chan

Last July, Transport Minister YB Anthony Loke announced that Grab and other e-hailing drivers would need to get a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license same as taxi drivers.

 

Loke gave a one year grace period for the e-hailing drivers to get the PSV. Now with four months left to the deadline, it appears that a new and fast-track PSV procedure for e-hailing drivers was only formally introduced by the RTD early this month (4 March).

 

Earlier on August 16, 2016, the Cabinet had approved 11 new initiatives in the Taxi Industry Transformation Programme prepared by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) that included e-hailing service using private cars.

 

On July 27, 2017, amendments to the Land Public Transport (LPT) Act 2010 and the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) Act 1987 were passed in the Dewan Rakyat to regulate e-hailing services.

 

E-hailing service providers were given up to one year to adjust to the regulations stipulated under the law, including obtaining the “Intermediation Business” licence from SPAD in Peninsular Malaysia or CVLB in Sabah and Sarawak.

 

Almost a year later, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said all e-hailing companies must register with SPAD and comply to a set of regulations starting from July 12, 2018 but gave the industry a one-year grace period.

 

With July 12, 2019 fast approaching, the Road Transport Department (RTD) on March 4  gave the first formal introduction of the new PSV for e-hailing drivers.

 

Following that, Grab said that the new training module would only be available from 1 April.

 

That would be an April Fool’s joke because it would be near impossible for all e-hailing drivers, which may number 258,000, to obtain their PSV licence in less than four and a half months.

 

The new PSV training module may include six hours of classroom training and an hour written test with 60 questions, with the passing mark at 80 percent. Apart from authorised driving schools, Grab has also applied for approval to be a training provider.

 

It should be noted that nearly all so-called training programmes in the market are merely briefing sessions, with slides and video presentations, which are understood by most of the audience but easily forgotten within a very short time.

 

Training will be much more effective if learning takes place before attending the programme by providing the presentations and notes to trainees upon registration, so that they can go through first and seek clarifications during training.

 

As trainees must learn to perform, there must be practical exercise and assessment during the 6-hour classroom training to ensure they have the necessary skills and perform to minimum standards or higher.

 

Knowledge based on understanding, memorising and articulating information could be learned online but not skills and attitude, which could be assessed by body language and interpersonal communication skills. A driver seen in a photo or video can turn out to be very different in person.

 

After passing written test, medical exam and background check, a Kad Pemandu Elektronic (EKP) and Electronic Vehicle Permit (EVP) will be issued by APAD/CVLB, and the road tax sticker to be changed to ‘AH’ for e-hailing by Road Transport Department (RTD) without charge.

 

As e-hailing vehicles are private and not commercial vehicles like taxis, there is no 50 percent discount for tolls, and e-hailing cover must be added on to their private car motor insurance, and still enjoy much cheaper insurance premiums than taxis.

 

And only vehicles that are more than three years need to be sent in for initial inspection followed by annual inspections.

 

YS Chan