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The Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license may become history for cabbies early next year, The Sun reports. This means that anyone who wants to drive a conventional taxi or Uber/Grab car may soon need just a valid driving license and a registration with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), with no need to sit for the PSV license test.

Currently, Malaysians above 21 and with a valid driving licence have to apply for a PSV licence from JPJ before they can drive a bus or taxi. The free daily learned that SPAD has proposed to abolish the PSV licence only for taxi and app-based e-hailing drivers, and will replace it with a SPAD driver’s card system. Training, if any, will be provided in-house by the taxi or app companies.

This proposal is among 11 points under the e-hailing and transformation for taxi industry models being considered by the Cabinet, which includes the legalisation and regulation of Uber/Grab. It has received endorsement from the Special Economic Committee chaired by the PM three months ago, but needs parliament approval.

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Obviously, the driving school operators are unhappy, saying they may lose up to RM90 million annually. Malaysian Driving Industry Standards and Modernisation Council (Mapim) president Datuk Hanafi Mat Zin said they would oppose SPAD’s plan. “We have invested a lot in the infrastructure including improving the standard of facilitators for PSV learner drivers. Who will bear our losses?” he said.

A senior JPJ officer questioned SPAD’s capability to produce efficient e-hailing and taxi drivers. “If PSV is removed, then it is a step backwards. This will eliminate the professional enforcement,” he said, while raising doubts about SPAD’s ability to curb foreigners and those with bad traffic records from becoming cabbies.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai confirmed that the e-hailing working paper included the elimination of PSV. SPAD CEO Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah was not available for comment. The ‘e-hailing model’ touted by SPAD aims to legalise and regulate Uber and Grab drivers, creating a level playing field between them and taxi drivers. More on the plan here.