Some schools are charging up to RM310, with RM50 per re-sit of trial test
by LYDIA NATHAN / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
EXPENSIVE charges imposed by driving schools and language barriers are among issues stopping e-hailing drivers from registering for the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) course.
The Malaysian E-hailing Drivers Association (Mehda) president Daryl Chong told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) that many driving schools are not charging according to the ceiling price of RM200 set by the Transport Ministry last year.
Some schools, which are approved by the Road Transport Department (JPJ), are charging up to RM310, with RM50 per re-sit of trial test.
“Some drivers still do not know what is going on, so when they go to these schools and they are charged a certain price, they pay. Because they know they need to get their PSV licence sorted out in time,” he told TMR in a recent telephone interview.
Additionally, Chong said language barriers contribute to drivers’ high failure rate for the PSV licence test.
He explained that test and training are conducted in Bahasa Malaysia (BM) and it has posed an issue for the non-native speaking drivers.
“We have noticed because that the test is in BM, the failing rate is fairly high, especially for the Chinese-speaking drivers. Even though by right they should know the language as most of them speak the language, but it tend to be harder for them to read,” he said.
He also claimed that some of the modules and sessions by the driving schools are not comprehensive enough.
“Trainers read from the slides, which in no way prepares the drivers for the actual test. I’ve analysed a few questions and some of the questions have illogical answers as well,” Chong said.
However, despite all these issues, Chong said drivers have not come forward to formally make complaints, making it hard for the authority to take any action.
“Drivers need to speak up, so we are able to do what we can. Most e-hailing firms are doing their best in trying to help their drivers at this point,” Chong said.
E-hailing drivers who undergo PSV test will be subjected to background screenings, medical checkups and to sit in a special six-hour driving training module, costing RM200 per person, at driving schools or companies accredited by the Land Transport Agency.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke (picture) had said the government would not extend the July 12 deadline for the PSV registration.
The PSV licence, which costs RM115 per year, is a licence allowing drivers to drive any type of commercial vehicle used for carrying passengers, such as taxis and buses.
Additionally, Chong said Mehda has partnered the Malayan Driving Institute Sdn Bhd to help with the subsidised cost of the PSV.
The school offered e-hailing drivers a training package which will cost them RM89, excluding the licence fee and the retest if applicable.
JomRides head marketing honcho Musfaizal Mustafa told TMR that they are currently in the middle of setting up their training centre for drivers after obtaining JPJ’s approval.
“We got the permission from JPJ, so our drivers can come to us instead of going to a driving institutions. The training modules will be from JPJ and we have three trainers ready right now,” he said.
He added that there are certain criteria that the JPJ has set for them, which include a proper location, the size of the classes, having certified trainers and the use of biometric equipment.
“We are still finalising the total cost, but we do plan on creating a package to reduce the burden of our drivers. It won’t be for just the licence but also the medical checkups, insurance and e-hailing permit,” Musfaizal said.
Meanwhile, Grab Malaysia also said it will be working closely with its driver-partners to help mitigate the processes involved as the deadline looms near.
For more clarity, the firm said it has developed a process mapping structure for its drivers, thus enabling them to follow only five steps towards obtaining their PSV licence and other requirements.
“In terms of the medical checkups, we have partnered clinics nationwide to bring down the cost of the required medical check to RM20. In addition, Grab will reimburse that amount to driver-partners regardless of which clinics they visit for their medical check,”.
For the PSV licence, driver-partners will be given an initial RM50 for the training, while Grab said it will continue to partner selected driving institutions to bring down the cost.
“Additionally, we will be fully subsidising RM70 for the initial inspection cost imposed on cars above three years old,” Grab Malaysia said in a statement yesterday.
Despite of the time constraint, the firm intends to assist its driver-partners, while continue to work with relevant authorities.
“In the coming months, we hope to work with our authorities to deliver some of the key promises of the government: To improve the quality and coverage of public transportation and to reduce the burden on the people, by improving income, while keeping their transportation costs as low as possible,” it said.