Malaysia abruptly imposes physical e-hailing vehicle permit

Malaysia’s e-hailing drivers reportedly have two new requirements to fulfill if they want to stay operating from this Saturday, causing concerns to fail to meet these additional conditions before the deadline, The Star reported.

Malaysia E-Hailing Drivers Association president Daryl Chong confirms that a meeting between the Land Public Transport Agency, Road Transport Department (JPJ), and e-hailing operators last Friday resulted in the requirements for drivers to have a printed e-hailing permit (EVP) and to convert their category from individual private to e-hailing private (AH).

He said e-hailing operators can easily print out the EVP for their drivers but the drivers will have problems picking up the EVP from their respective companies in such short notice.

The requirements are imposed despite Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook saying that e-hailing drivers would have the flexibility of not changing their vehicle category back in May.

However, there’s leeway for e-hailing drivers who have already obtained their Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence, as Chong said that they should be allowed on the road after Saturday’s deadline despite them not having met the latest conditions yet.

For the required conversion to AH, Chong said drivers would have to go through the process of filling up forms and submitting them to JPJ, which is another time-consuming procedure.

“We hope the government can give at least one month grace period to comply with these new requirements,” Chong said.

Only Grab embeds the EVPs electronically through the driver’s app. Other e-hailing operators issue both electronic and hard copies EVP for the drivers.

This Saturday would be the deadline set earlier by the government for drivers to comply with all e-hailing regulations, including getting their PSV licence and EVP.

There are about 167,000 e-hailing drivers in Malaysia. This sudden move by the government would probably cause 30 per cent of then to quit, Chong reckoned.

“We expect all the 117,000 drivers will be in full force by January 2020, ” he said.

Grab has said in the statement that it had targeted 150,000 of its e-hailing drivers to obtain the PSV licence before the deadline.

“Many drivers who have already gotten their PSV licence complained to us they were still waiting for the issuance of EVP, which has to be applied from each e-hailing company should a driver work for multiple platforms, ” said MCA Civil Society Coordination Bureau chief Ng Kian Nam.

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