DRB-Hicom: Puspakom not a monopoly

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

DRB-Hicom Bhd has dismissed claims that its wholly owned subsidiary Puspakom Sdn Bhd is a monopoly in the vehicle inspection sector, as the government is currently looking at cracking down on monopolies which do not benefit Malaysia and the people.

DRB-Hicom group MD Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar said Puspakom cannot be categorised as a monopoly as it was established by the government before it was privatised.

Syed Faisal said Puspakom was incorporated in 1994 by the federal government to inspect vehicles’ roadworthiness and its operations were governed by related laws.

“Puspakom is not a monopoly. It was created by the government for vehicle inspection. It happened when DRB-Hicom was bought over and merged, (and) Puspakom came with it,” he told a recent media briefing in Melaka.

In addition, Syed Faisal said there is a need for Puspakom to be retained for the future of vehicle inspections in the country, as it has been engaging the government over the matter.

Puspakom, the sole commercial vehicle inspection company in Malaysia, was appointed by the government to undertake all mandatory inspections for both commercial and private vehicles.

The company has some 56 centres nationwide that also provide inspection services for hire-purchase financing, ownership transfer and registrations of imported vehicles under its suite of offerings for private vehicles.

A Cabinet committee chaired by Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali is studying monopolies in the business sector to spur competition and reduce the cost of living.

Among the companies under watch are Padiberas Nasional Bhd, Puspakom, Pharmaniaga Bhd and MyEG Services Bhd.

Meanwhile, Syed Faisal said Puspakom has increased its capacity to cater for an expected rise in vehicle inspection demand among e-hailing drivers as the deadline in obtaining the public service vehicle licence is on July 12.

He said Puspakom has discussed with more than 20 e-hailing platform providers to ensure all drivers are able to meet the due date.

Syed Faisal encourages all drivers not to wait until the last minute to bring their vehicles for inspection.

Puspakom has embarked on proactive measures to meet the high demand from e-hailing drivers including lengthening operation hours, with some branches staying open seven days a week.