Review summonses, agencies told

Happy ending: Wee meeting Arumugam at his office after resolving the latter’s summonses issue. — Screencap from Dr Wee’s FB

PETALING JAYA: The Road Transport Department (JPJ) and Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) have been told by the Transport Ministry to review summonses issued to lorry drivers for carrying loads in excess of limits for their respective vehicles.

This comes following woes expressed by a lorry driver who had his driving licence blacklisted after his employer refused to settle such summonses.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said such actions had a detrimental effect on lorry drivers when the summonses were not paid by the employer, forcing drivers to bear the cost and subsequently having their driving licence blacklisted when they are unable to pay the summons.

On his Facebook page, Dr Wee revealed that he had met with the lorry driver, S. Arumugam, at the Transport Ministry office, together with Apad director-general Azlan Al Bakry and JPJ officer Ong See Tang on Wednesday.

“I was upset to find that many summonses were issued by JPJ and the police (to Arumugam) because he did not have a competent driving licence (CDL), goods vehicle driving licence (GDL) and vocational licence.

“I felt that this was not right. How can he not have a driver’s licence? But this was finally answered!

“Although he is only a lorry driver, all summonses due to overloading were issued to Arumugam, and not to the company where he works, ” he said.

Dr Wee said Arumugam was blacklisted by JPJ from renewing his licence after being issued with too many summonses related to overloading.

“That’s why, since 2017 he has not been able to renew his CDL and GDL driving licences.

“However, he continued to work and was summoned again for driving an overloaded lorry and without licence because he had to financially support his family, ” Dr Wee said, adding that he decided to help Arumugam, who is a widower with young children, after listening to his plight.

“Moving forward, I have asked JPJ and Apad to review the summons for overloading to lorry drivers, which prevents employers from taking the blame, ” said Dr Wee, who had also asked the JPJ Enforcement Division to investigate Arumugam’s allegation that foreign drivers from Pakistan and Bangladesh were allowed to drive cargo vehicles at a depot in Sepang.

“For the record, foreign nationals can have a driving licence, but are not allowed to have a PSV and GDL licence, so these (foreigners) are definitely driving public services and goods vehicles without a GDL or PSV licence.

“Arumugam came to my office with tears in his eyes, but went home with a big smile when I handed over his driver’s licence which is now valid for five years, ” he said.

In a separate post later, Dr Wee also congratulated JPJ for its 75th anniversary yesterday.

“This has been a long and challenging journey for JPJ staff as they discharged their responsibilities for the betterment of society, especially road users.

“All your sacrifices and contribution is much appreciated, and may JPJ continue to demonstrate excellence as a road transport enforcement agency, ” he said.

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