PETALING JAYA: Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook today urged drivers to register for the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence as soon as possible, warning that there will be no delay in implementation.
He was responding to some part-time drivers who had said the application process is “troublesome” and time-consuming.
“Everything (you do) will be troublesome. But cumbersome or troublesome, it is entirely up to the drivers.
“We are looking at the long term. From a regime that is totally unregulated to one that is regulated, of course there will be a bit of trouble,” he told reporters at an event to implement facial recognition technology for e-hailing applications in the country.
He added that this would benefit the industry in the long run as it would result in a more secure working environment.
He also said the PSV licence involves a one-off registration process, and that drivers are only required to renew their licence on an annual basis.
All e-hailing drivers must possess a PSV licence by July 12.
To obtain the licence, drivers must undergo a six-hour training session at a driving centre and pay up to RM200. They are also required to get initial and annual vehicle checks at Puspakom, and pass criminal background and medical checks.
They must contribute to Socso, purchase e-hailing add-on car insurance, and equip their vehicles with safety equipment including fire extinguishers.
The estimated cost of completing all requirements is RM800.
Loke said the regulations are being amended to allow disabled drivers to register for a PSV licence. He expressed hope that this could be done by May.
So far, 25 e-hailing companies have registered for the six-hour course to obtain the PSV licence.
On the use of facial recognition technology, Loke said it would ensure a more secure environment for both drivers and passengers.
“With this verification, drivers will know if they are picking up a passenger reflected in the e-hailing app. Without facial recognition, they don’t know if the passenger is the person who ordered the ride.
“Drivers have the right to reject a passenger if descriptions do not match,” he said.
Grab Malaysia country head Sean Goh said the information collected would be kept private and would not be circulated to drivers.
“We will be doing screening for the drivers. If a passenger is wearing a mask, the verification will automatically be rejected,” he said.