For many younger drivers out there, the only time they’ve ever drove a manual transmission car was when they were in driving school. Cars with a stick shift are increasingly rare these days, as most opt for the ease of an auto, especially in urban areas. With this in mind, the Government plans to allow automatic transmission cars to be used for driving tests, Parliament was told yesterday.

However, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri added that existing regulations which stipulate that only manual transmission cars can be used to test learner drivers, must first be amended before the plans can proceed. He also said that the curriculum enforced for driving schools and tests methods must be changed accordingly.

Of course, a new class of driving license would also have to be created, which prohibits these “auto-only” drivers to drive manual cars. This system is also practiced in Singapore, where people can opt for the Class 3A license, which is easier to pass of course, but will disqualify them to drive a car with a clutch pedal.

If this plans goes through, it will just accelerate the death of the manual transmission. Already, many manufacturers are reluctant to bring in stick shift variants, citing the lack of demand as an excuse, and it looks like a whole generation of future drivers will never know the joys of driving a manual. What’s your view on this?