Grab drivers waiting to apply for the Public Service Vehicle licence at the Grab Driver Centre in Petaling Jaya yesterday.- NSTP/Amirudin Sahib

KUALA LUMPUR: Complaints from e-hailing drivers on difficulties in getting the public service vehicle (PSV) licence have been dismissed as excuses to delay the licensing requirement by the government in hopes that its regulation will not take place.

Malaysia E-Hailing Drivers Association (Mehda) president Daryl Chong said one of the common complaints the association received was that drivers were hoping that the Transport Ministry would not enforce the new regulation.

“For the past two weeks, we have received many complaints from drivers on the matter.

“As we got nearer to the deadline, we received more calls and complaints.”

“Many are hoping that the government would back-pedal on the decision and cancel the PSV licence requirement.

“They are pressuring us to tell the government not to proceed with it. How can we do that?

“It is a mandatory requirement set by the Transport Ministry.

“The announcement was made on March 28. The drivers were required to attend the PSV training and courses beginning April 1. Therefore, from the date till July 11 is only about 3 and a half months for them to complete all the procedures to obtain the PSV licence.

“Drivers should be aware of the various other costs involved in becoming an e-hailing driver after July 12.

“We received excuses after excuses when we asked them why they haven’t applied for the licence. The excuses are unacceptable.”

Chong said despite the efforts by the association to help e-hailing drivers obtain the licence, drivers were not bothered about it.

Another common excuse, he said, was that drivers did not have enough money to get the licence and did not have the time for the examination and training.

Grab drivers seen lining up to apply for the Public Service Vehicle licence at the Grab Driver Centre in Petaling Jaya.- NSTP/Amirudin Sahib

“They have been given a year to take care of everything, but they can’t do it.

“Let’s say if they saved up to RM100 a month, they would have secured the licence ahead of the deadline.

“They need to manage their time and finances properly.

“The safety of passengers and drivers is crucial, which is why getting the licence is important,” said Chong.

He added that most part-time e-hailing drivers had quit after citing difficulties in getting the licence.

In November, Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced that e-hailing drivers were required to get the PSV licence beginning January.

He said drivers would be given until tomorrow to get the licence, including taking the PSV course, adding that there would be no extension.

This November 22, 2017 file pic shows a passenger entering a Grab car during the launch of Grab Malaysia’s first lounge at Sunway Pyramid. -NSTP/ Sairien Nafis

On Tuesday, it was reported that only 10 per cent of Grab Malaysia’s active drivers had obtained their licences.

Grab drivers have told the New Straits Times that there had been long lines at Grab offices over the past few days as drivers who had yet to get the licence queued up to get the application forms.

Drivers said pictures of the lines had appeared in the drivers’ closed community Facebook page.

Checks by the New Straits Times revealed a long line at the Grab Driver Centre in Petaling Jaya, but the company was unwilling to comment.

A Grab spokesman was also unwilling to comment on whether unlicensed drivers would not be able to access its e-hailing system come tomorrow.

“Based on (news) articles, we understand from (the Transport Ministry) that if drivers do not have the PSV licence, they will not be able to drive.

“With regard to drivers who are either waiting for their examination results, or are waiting for (the Road Transport Department) to provide the date for their examinations, we hope that the government would be lenient on the enforcement as they are going through the process.”

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