E-hailing drivers left baffled

  • Nation
  • Monday, 14 Oct 2019

PETALING JAYA: E-hailing drivers are baffled over what they say are discrepancies in the statements issued by the Transport Ministry and the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD).

This came about after Transport Minister Anthony Loke said on Wednesday that drivers who passed the Passenger Service Vehicle (PSV) examination but still awaiting the licence would be allowed to be on the road.

He also said that e-hailing drivers need not have a printout of the e-hailing vehicle permit (EVP), which is already electronically stored in the driver’s app.

However, Malaysia E-hailing Drivers Association president Daryl Chong said APAD had conveyed a different message.

“We have reconfirmed with APAD’s Taxi and E-hailing Unit, which told us that only drivers with both PSV and EVP are allowed on the road legally from Oct 12, ” he said.

Oct 12 was the deadline set by the government for drivers to comply with all e-hailing regulations. They are required to have the PSV licence, passenger insurance, e-hailing sticker and EVP from APAD.

“Enforcement agencies will act based on laws. So the drivers are confused. Who should we listen to? The minister or the enforcement agencies?” he asked.

Road Transport Department (JPJ) Enforcement Division director Khairul Anuar Bachok said on Thursday that JPJ would take firm action against drivers who did not meet the criteria.

Then on Saturday, Loke said the ministry was taking a gradual approach in the enforcement.

He said drivers would be given leeway as long as they had registered for the PSV examination or were taking steps to fulfil the requirements.

He also assured drivers not to worry about the authorities mounting a crackdown against them.

Chong said drivers were in a quandary over such different statements.

“We can only advise our members to drive at their own risk now until they get their EVP, ” he said, adding that APAD should “buck up and act fast” in issuing the EVP to drivers.

Following the confusion, Chong said there were fewer e-hailing drivers on the road, which led to longer waiting time and higher fares for passengers especially during peak hours.

MCA Civil Society Coordination Bureau chief Ng Kian Nam, who is assisting a group of drivers, also called on Loke to clear the air.

“Why is the minister and his agencies giving out contradicting statements? One says they will be lenient while another insisted on strict enforcement, ” he said.

When contacted, a Grab spokesman said many of its drivers had come forward to do their due diligence since Saturday.

“They came to check on their status and if they were good to go.

“There were also drivers who came to update their insurance details into the system in order to allow them to ferry passengers, ” he said, adding that at least 41% of its estimated 150,000 drivers have obtained the PSV licence and EVP.

Another 24% are awaiting either for the examination results or a slot to sit for the test while 22% decided to quit altogether.

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