By S BIRRUNTHA /pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
The number of e-hailing drivers who registered for the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence remained low, a month after the government extended the deadline for drivers to obtain the mandatory approvals and allow them to legally ferry passengers.
The government last month announced the period to obtain the PSV was extended until October 12 as thousands of the ride-hailing drivers failed to meet the earlier deadline.
Malaysian Grab Drivers Association president Arif Asyraf Ali said there were about 25,000 Grab drivers who had registered for the PSV licence following the three-month extension but only half of them made the cut thus far.
“So far, we saw about 10,000 Grab drivers had passed the test, while around 6,000 of them failed the test,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently.
Arif Asyraf said that there has been a 15% increase in the number of drivers who registered for the PSV licence for Grab Malaysia after July 12.
“Prior to the deadline extension, there were about 16,000 who had signed up,” he said.
Arif Asyraf said most drivers who had failed the test had cited that the Bahasa Malaysia terminology used in the PSV e-hailing theory licensing test as one of the major reasons behind their failure.
“Basically, there is no problem with having the test in Bahasa Malaysia but the words used in the test were too difficult for some of the drivers to understand,” he said.
Arif Asyraf claimed that the words were not common or standard conversational Bahasa Malaysia.
“Some of the words are as complex as those in the literature books. However, for those who really studied and went for revision classes, they passed the test,” he said.
All e-hailing drivers are urged to register for the PSV licence by Oct 12 and the government had vowed that there would not be further extension.
TMR had reported that the deadline extension had drawn the ire of some e-hailing drivers who had complied with the rulings.
JomRides head of marketing Musfaizal Mustafa said that the timeframe given to private e-hailing drivers to obtain the PSV licence should not be the same as taxis drivers.
“E-hailing drivers do not get 45% discount on toll as taxis. They are not allowed to use the bus and taxi lanes and that they are even not allowed to pick up or wait at taxi stands.
“So I feel it is quite unfair for them (e-hailing drivers) because they had to fulfil all the strict requirements like taxi drivers and yet they are not given any incentives and benefits,” he told TMR.
Musfaizal also said that e-hailing drivers have to do bear everything especially on the premium insurance.
“Normally, they would be charged 28% to 40% higher than the normal insurance which is really expensive. As such most part time drivers feel that this is not something worth spending on,” he said.
But Musfaizal said that the drivers are being subsidised by e-hailing operators to get the PSV and this has lessened their burden.