55,673 e-hailing drivers have obtained the PSV licence as at Sept 3
by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE government will not extend the three-month reprieve, which ends on Oct 12, for e-hailing drivers to operate without the public service vehicle (PSV) licence.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke (picture) said the timeframe was sufficient for the drivers to make the necessary adjustments.
“There will be no more extensions. This is final. We will only have one soft landing for three months to allow e-hailing drivers to fulfil the new requirements.
“I think the time given is good enough for them to sit for the exams and take the necessary steps,” he told reporters at a post-Cabinet meeting press conference in Putrajaya yesterday.
It was revealed that 55,673 e-hailing drivers have obtained the PSV licence as at Sept 3, which is over 90% of the estimated amount of taxi drivers in the country at 60,000.
Over the same period, a total of 86,789 e-hailing drivers have registered for PSV courses.
“We do not put a target on how many (licenced e-hailing drivers) should be out there. It is up to them. At the moment we have over 55,000, and I’m sure these are full-time drivers. We have one month to go. We don’t put a cap to that. As long as they come forward and register, and they sit for the exam. We don’t have any problems with that.
“We hope the entire process will create an environment which allows people to operate based on a proper legal framework, as well as to ensure the safety of all passengers,” Loke added.
The government began to regulate e-hailing services on July 12 last year. E-hailing drivers were given a year to apply for the PSV licence, which is also being imposed on taxi drivers.
Putrajaya later extended the deadline by an additional three months following complaints of high charges by driving schools and language barriers, which prevented e-hailing dri-vers from registering for the PSV course.
E-hailing companies and drivers’ association have since worked together closely with driver-partners and institutions to help mitigate the processes involved as the deadline looms near.
The PSV test subjects e-hailing dri-vers to background screenings, medical check-ups and to sit in a special six-hour driving training module, costing RM200 per person, at driving schools or companies accredited by the Land Public Transport Agency.
The PSV licence, which costs RM115 per year, allows drivers to operate any type of commercial vehicle used for carrying passengers, such as taxis and buses.
On a separate matter, Loke announced that the Cabinet has agreed to allow Malaysia My Second Home participants and Malaysians, especially students studying abroad, with foreign drivers’ licences to convert to a Malaysian licence without examination beginning November this year.
Successful applicants will be given a ‘P’ licence subjected to a probation of two years, Loke said.
However, for licences issued from countries that have no treaties with Malaysia, applicants will be required to sit for a theory examination for the conversion to take place.