E-hailing drivers caught between PSV and Puspakom

E-hailing drivers are questioning the need to send their cars for Puspakom inspection. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian E-hailing Drivers Association is crying foul over Puspakom Sdn Bhd’s call for them to send their vehicles for inspection when there is uncertainty about drivers obtaining the Private Service Vehicle (PSV) license.

“According to the regulations, only e-hailing operators using vehicles more than three years old have to go through inspection with Puspakom for safety reasons,” the association’s president Daryl Chong told FMT.

Many drivers would not bother to send their cars for inspection if it is under three years old and if they have yet to obtain the PSV license.

“There are four steps that drivers have to go through to be an e-hailing driver. The first step is to obtain your PSV licence and then to have your vehicle inspected.”

“Right now the priority is to obtain the PSV licence first but many of the e-hailing drivers are still stuck with the procedure of getting the license,” he said.

He said it would be unfair to describe them as errant drivers for not having sent their vehicles for inspection: not all cars are aged three years and above, and the numbers might give a wrong picture of drivers.

The association said it was unfair of Puspakom to say that only 35 of the estimated 200,000 e-hailing vehicles in the country have undergone Puspakom inspection as not all cars are aged more than three years old and not all cars are made mandatory for inspection.

“The figure is inaccurate and unfair, they don’t have the figures of the cars that need to be inspected, and even I have no knowledge of how many e-hailing drivers need to send their cars for inspection,” said Chong.

Yesterday, Puspakom Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Mohammed Shukor Ismail said only 35 of the estimated 200,000 e-hailing vehicles in the country have undergone Puspakom inspection as of April 10.

From July onwards, the government will enforce tighter rules for e-hailing services, including requiring their drivers to sit for the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence and to send their cars for inspection.

He urged drivers not to wait until the last minute before sending their vehicles for checking, to avoid any problems such as not getting approval on time.

One of the drivers, Mustafha Kamal, 49, said he had been using his car for seven years and was reluctant about sending his vehicle to Puspakom.

He said the steps were not that simple and the inspection might require a few days.

“It is not like we can settle it in a day, and if there is something wrong, we may have to fork out our money,” he told FMT. “For a full-time driver like me, a day is valuable because I have customers to entertain and having to deal with such procedures might disturb my daily routine as a driver.”

Mustafha also said he would wait until he has obtained the PSV licence.

Similarly, Mohd Zakaria, 34, said it should not be made mandatory if the vehicle is still in good condition.

He said it was understandable that people would want to save money and avoid having their vehicle inspected. “It depends on individuals. However, if the car needs to be inspected, then they should go for safety purposes.”

Part-time driver “Nuha” said she does not find it necessary for her car to be inspected as she would have to fork out her own money.