KUALA LUMPUR: The implementation of the e-hailing policy has not been well thought out and is bound to cause nightmares for those involved, Umno Youth said today.
Its strategic director, Wan Agyl Wan Hassan, said what the government was doing appeared to go against the original spirit of the policy – to allow the market to be self-regulated – formulated in 2016.
Wan Agyl, a former head of policy and planning of the operation group of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) – now known as the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) – said there were many issues the transport ministry had failed to see.
He was commenting on the three-month reprieve for unlicensed e-hailing drivers announced by Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook yesterday.
From yesterday, all e-hailing drivers were to have a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence but after protests by drivers and operators, Loke came up with the reprieve.
Wan Agyl said he had been dealing with the e-hailing policy since it was formulated in 2016.
“Unfortunately, the current government seems to have gone against the original spirit of the policy. SPAD’s intention back then was to allow the market to be self-regulated and not over regulating the industry due to the dynamic nature of the e-hailing industry.
”One thing for sure will happen: the three-month extension for PSV requirement will not be enough due to the Road Transport Department’s (JPJ) outdated rules and regulations. Not to mention its limitation in supporting the need for approximately 200,000 drivers to acquire PSV, especially on rigid standard operating procedures (SOP) and work nature.”
He said it was already a “nightmare” getting drivers to attend the training for PSV licences in driving schools, but e-hailing companies must also be registered as driving institutes with JPJ to have training facilities.
They must have a training centre with equipment provided by JPJ’s vendors to enable connection to JPJ’s system, and the PSV test has to be taken at the JPJ centre.
He said there was only one such JPJ centre, located in Selangor, and which could accommodate a maximum of 50 people at one time.
Yet another “nightmare”, he said, was the issuance of the PSV card itself by JPJ for e-hailing companies to be registered in order to run the training by themselves.
The cards could only be issued at JPJ offices in Selangor and even the biggest office, in Padang Jawa, had only one operational counter.
He said things would slow down further because e-hailing companies had to pay the fee individually for every single e-hailing driver.
Wan Agyl said Loke might not have known about the implementation plan details, because if he had, he would not have allowed the implementation to be done now.
“He also needs to understand that the JPJ’s unwillingness to adjust its rules and regulations, including its SOPs, accordingly to fit the needs and changes will always be a roadblock to e-hailing policy implementation.
“So will we be able see full implementation and compliance of the e-hailing policy in the next three months? I doubt so.”