Two associations vetting their drivers as deadline for eHailing licence nears

Full time Grab driver Chu Zheng Ning, 24, finds cost to apply for the PSV licence as too expensive if it ranges from RM800 onwards.

Full time Grab driver Chu Zheng Ning, 24, finds cost to apply for the PSV licence as too expensive if it ranges from RM800 onwards.

PETALING JAYA: As the deadline for the special eHailing licence nears, two associations have claimed that stringent checks on their drivers were already being carried out.

Grab Drivers Malaysia Associa­tion president Arif Asyraf Ali said Grab was already conducting its own internal checks on drivers even without the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) vetting process. “If you compare both PSV and Grab, basically we have already been carrying out these procedures, including background checks on our drivers,” he said.

Arif said the PSV licence was just part of the government’s regulations and most drivers were willing to go through it on a yearly basis, but lamented the cost.

“Drivers who feel that it is an additional burden for them will not continue driving,” he said.

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman concurred that Grab, too, had its own background checks and records of its drivers.

“If there are any issues, the necessary information can be obtained from Grab.

“The problem is that most of these Grab drivers are part-timers. Since they are driving on a part-time basis, they do not want a lot of hassle as the procedure to be a driver directly with Grab was much easier,” he said.

Pertubuhan Pemandu Berasaskan Aplikasi Elektronik Malaysia secretary-general Catherine Yee said checks conducted by eHailing companies were different from Puspakom.

“It’s cheaper if we do the PSV tests ourselves. Our cost is very high as well, as eHailing companies take 20% of each trip and we don’t have the special 50% toll discount enjoyed by taxi drivers,” she said.

Yee also said the new regulations would likely affect part-time drivers due to its cost.

“Full-time drivers agree to be regulated because without any law to protect us, eHailing companies will bully us,” she said.

“But many part-time drivers found it costly and they don’t want to drive anymore.”

Starting April 1, eHailing drivers must apply for the PSV licence at driving institutes or eHailing operator centres approved by the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

Drivers have to undergo a six-hour training session at driving centres and pay up to RM200 for the PSV licence.

They must also get initial and annual vehicle checks at Puspa­kom, pass criminal background and medical checks, contribute to Socso, purchase an eHailing add-on car insurance and equip their cars with safety equipment, including fire extinguishers.The JPJ will start taking action against offenders from July 12.