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PSV licence requirement for e-hailing drivers delayed for 3 months

E-hailing drivers will be relieved to know that the deadline for them to obtain their Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licences has been extended by another 3 months from July 12th. This comes after the Cabinet had their weekly meeting today, and comes in light of reports that only 10% of active Grab drivers have their PSV licences.

The Transport Minister, Anthony Loke, explained the extension a a “soft-landing” approach towards regulating the e-hailing industry, with unlicensed drivers still allowed to drive during the extended 3-month period—they will only receive warnings and a final reminder.

Despite the fact that the PSV requirement was only announced by the government last year, the registration and training process for PSV licence only commenced on 1st April 2019. This only gave e-hailing drivers approximately 3 months to obtain the licence.

The announcement comes after the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) called for a 30-day extension of the original deadline for e-hailing drivers to get the Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence. Senior VP of Fomca, Datuk K. Koris Atan, explained that drivers need to be given a grace period:

“I support the government’s move to regulate the e-hailing service, but I think it is only fair to extend the deadline since this is a new phenomenon in the country.”

Not everyone is on board

However, the Gabungan Teksi SeMalaysia (GTSM) earlier urged the Ministry of Transport to remain firm in enforcing the PSV requirement. According to GTSM’s president, Kamarudin Mohd Hussain, performing any sort of a “U-turn” on the decision would compromise “the country’s sovereignty”. In a thinly-veiled threat, Kamarudin also said that his organisation will rally if the Ministry of Transport goes back on its word.

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Regardless of that, the extension will help riders, as well as drivers that utilise e-hailing services such as Grab and MyCar. The overwhelming worry, when it came to the July 12 deadline, was that the volume of active drivers would reduce dramatically—leading to a shortage in e-hailing cars for riders.

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