Reports by JOSEPH KAOS Jr, ALLISON LAI, CLARISSA CHUNG, NATASHA JOIBI and ILI AQILAH
PUTRAJAYA: Although e-hailing drivers have been given extra time to get themselves licensed, enforcement towards operators who flout regulations will go on as planned.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke says that while unlicensed drivers have a three-month reprieve, enforcement by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) will go on to ensure compliance on the e-hailing regulations.
“I want to remind all EHOs (e-hailing operators) that enforcement begins today. There is no postponement.
“But for e-hailing drivers who are caught not having a PSV (passenger service vehicle) licence or driving a car that does not fulfil the requirements, our enforcement officers will give them final warnings.
“This is a ‘soft landing’ approach, to allow e-hailing drivers to get themselves licensed within the three months,” said Loke at a press conference here after chairing his ministry’s post-Cabinet meeting.
The Cabinet had earlier agreed to allow the three-month reprieve for the e-hailing industry.
E-hailing drivers were given until July 12 to obtain the necessary requirements to be licensed, including getting a PSV licence and vehicle permits.
As for operators, Loke said JPJ would be on the lookout for those that operate without being registered with the ministry, as well as if they comply with the maximum 20% commission rules.
“E-hailing operators are only allowed to collect a maximum of 20% commission from the total fare. But we are aware that some companies have attempted to collect additional 5% on top of the 20%, but labelling it with other names such as ‘fees’.
“We are monitoring all companies closely and will take action against those who go against the regulations,” said Loke.
Loke said 22,981 e-hailing drivers had passed their PSV examinations up to July 11, while 31 EHOs had been registered with the ministry and had obtained the business mediation licence (LPP) to operate e-hailing services.
He added that as a result of drivers taking it to the last minute, JPJ received a high number of PSV applications in the last 10 days before the deadline.
On incidences of drastically increased fares, Loke warned companies not to unscrupulously impose surcharges on passengers.
“We know there are some operators who are trying to come up with strategies to force the government to make a U-turn and retract this decision to regulate the e-hailing industry.
“But the government is firm and we had already made this decision last year. There is no reason for companies to surge their prices. We will be monitoring this,” said Loke.