PUTRAJAYA: The government has announced it is allowing e-hailing drivers another three months to obtain their PSV licence, as a deadline passed today which effectively disqualified thousands of drivers.
Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook said enforcement officers will embark on a “soft approach” to educate e-hailing drivers on the need to apply for the commercial licence.
In November, the minister had announced that e-hailing drivers were required to get the PSV licence beginning January. The deadline was extended until today.
Loke said e-hailing drivers found without their PSV licence and driving vehicles that did not comply with regulations will be given advice and warning letters.
He said the ministry decided on this three-month grace period as many e-hailing drivers had yet to obtain their licences.
“However, since July 1, thousands of drivers have taken this PSV course.”
More than 22,900 e-hailing drivers have already obtained their PSV licences as of last night.
He said the grace period will also ensure those depending on e-hailing rides were not adversely affected.
Loke said the grace period did not mean there would be a postponement in enforcement.
“There will be some leniency in the method of enforcement. We’ll educate first before full enforcement,” he told reporters.
On another matter, Loke said action will be taken against e-hailing operators found to be taking more than the fixed commission rate from drivers.
The ministry has fixed a 20% commission cap for e-hailing drivers and a 10% cap for taxi drivers using these platforms.
He was aware that some operators were taking more than the fixed rate under the guise of other names.
“Some would say they are taking a 20% commission but charge another 5% fee. We know these operators are trying to play with words and trying to beat the system.”
He warned e-hailing companies that their activities were being constantly monitored and they risked being fined or having their operating licences revoked.
Until yesterday, 31 e-hailing companies had obtained licences from the Land Public Transport Agency (Apad).
On customer complaints of delays in getting e-hailing drivers and surges in prices, Loke said the ministry is studying the situation.
“We know companies are employing many tactics to squeeze the government into a corner. They are trying to force the government to retract and make a U-turn on our regulations.
“We have announced this three-month education period today. There is no reason why there should be a surge in prices.”