No more Puspakom monopoly on vehicle inspections once concession ends, says Transport Minister

PUTRAJAYA: Puspakom will no longer be the sole provider of vehicle inspection services once their concession ends on Aug 31, 2024, says Anthony Loke.

The Transport Minister said those interested in providing vehicle inspection services would be invited to send applications in the first quarter of 2024.

"The decision is in line with the government's desire to create a competitive service environment and facilitate all Malaysians," Loke said at a press conference on Friday (March 24).

"This decision means that Puspakom will no longer be the sole provider of vehicle inspection services on behalf of the Road Transport Department (JPJ) from Sept 1, 2024," he added.

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Loke said the vehicle inspection service providers would be required to appoint employees who meet specified qualification requirements, provide and use computerised inspection equipment regulated and approved by JPJ, only charge the set inspection fee rate, and would be strictly prohibited from offering repair or modifying services and sell spare parts.

He said that the prospective providers must have their own necessary equipment.

"We won't spend money to build their system. The interested companies must fulfil the criteria set by the ministry and JPJ," he said.

Puspakom is Malaysia's first and only comprehensive national vehicle inspection company appointed by the government to undertake all mandatory inspections for both commercial and private vehicles.

Incorporated in 1994, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DRB-Hicom Bhd.

Loke said the ministry discussed it with DRB-Hicom, and the management acknowledged the decision.

He said the public had raised the issue of a monopoly in the sector for many years, adding that the decision to open the sector would also reduce the waiting time for commercial transport vehicles to be inspected.

"The large vehicle lorries and buses wait for hours, and there are complaints of long waiting times. Sometimes, there is only one service centre in the state.

"We do not close Puspakom but open up for other options," he added.

Loke also said Puspakom had been asked to improve the quality and integrity of their inspections, such as increasing automation and digitising their workflow.

Regarding the current Puspakom concession which was extended for 15 years in 2009, the Cabinet has agreed to extend the agreement for the same period, effective Sept 1, 2024, by improving the terms of the existing agreement.

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