Disabled e-hailing drivers claim discrimination in getting PSV licence

A group of disabled e-hailing drivers led by Azahar Mohd Nordin submit a memorandum to Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook in Putrajaya today.

PUTRAJAYA: Disabled e-hailing drivers today accused the transport ministry of discriminating against them in their efforts to obtain a public service vehicle (PSV) licence ahead of the government’s deadline on July 12.

The group’s representative Azahar Mohd Nordin said nearly 300 disabled drivers may lose their source of income if they fail to obtain the PSV.

He said 60 of them were asked to obtain hearing aids when undergoing medical checks.

“Hearing aids are useless for those who are born deaf or who are completely deaf,” he told reporters after handing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook along with 30 others.

Azahar also questioned the need for deaf drivers to undergo hearing tests as they already have drivers licences issued by the government, and the government’s decision to have the OKU drivers undergo checks at only one hospital.

“What about disabled drivers from other states who need to undergo health checks? Why can’t we go for checks at other hospitals like our friends (who are not disabled)?”

Azahar said e-hailing drivers had been driving without any problems all this while but were now being discriminated against.

“This whole year, we have been patient in waiting for updates but we are still not being treated like our friends.

“We are the ones who are deaf but it seems it is the regulators who cannot hear our pleas.”

He said he was also dissatisfied that the transport ministry had made it mandatory for disabled drivers to sit for a test on July 1.

“We were told that the date is non-negotiable even though many of us live out of town and cannot attend.

“They also do not allow driving schools to host the exams. We feel this is unfair because our other friends can attend during their free time.”

He said he hoped the government would look into the matter and treat e-hailing drivers like anyone else who wants to contribute to the economy.