E-hailing firms: Short licence deadline could cause driver shortage, fee hikes

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Drivers of e-hailing services urged the government to extend the July 12 deadline for them to obtain the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence, saying many among them will not be able to do so by then.

Citing alleged delays and confusion over the module’s availability, the group said this may result in many drivers being legally disqualified from e-hailing services then, which would cause fares to rise sharply due to a mismatch with demand.

A representative of e-hailing provider Decentralised Alternative Cabs Serving & Empowering Everyone (Dacsee), Mohd Faizul Ezmin, asserted that the module for the commercial driving licence only became available this week.

“During peak hours, there won’t be enough drivers available and the waiting time will also be much longer,” Faizul, the former Grab Drivers Malaysia Association secretary-general, told the New Straits Times.

He also claimed there were insufficient PSV trainers to instruct the estimated 200,000 e-hailing drivers in the country.

According to Faizul, Dacsee has started sending their instructors to the RTD for certification as PSV trainers.

On April 3, Road Transport Department (RTD) director-general Datuk Seri Shaharuddin Khalid told the same newspaper that four of the nation’s estimated 30 to 35 registered e-hailing companies were authorised to manage their own PSV training facilities, including Dacsee and Grab.

He said that as of April 1, the PSV module were available at 211 driving academies and e-hailing centres.

The representative of another e-hailing company also complained the RTD only launched the PSV module on April 1, while noting that Transport Minister Anthony Loke has stressed the need for e-hailing drivers to obtain PSV licences since the first week of January this year.

The representative similarly urged the government to extend the deadline.

In July 2018, Loke reportedly announced new rules to regulate e-hailing drivers, which included the need to obtain PSV licences.

Source : MalayMail