Car showrooms are back in action, automotive production has resumed, and even car wash centres have reopened as part of the economic relaxation announced by the government for all states, including those under phase one of the national recovery plan (NRP).

However, driving institutes remain closed, with no indication as to when they will be allowed to resume operating, leaving many wanting to obtain driving licenses in the lurch, Utusan Malaysia reports. It was recently reported that the closure of driving schools since June 1 has impacted more than half a million individuals in the country, 80% of which are SPM graduates and youths who need a driving license to enable them to go out to work.

Aware of the issue, the road transport department (JPJ) says it is hoping to bring the matter to the ministry of transport for it to be addressed. Responding to a question by the media on the topic, JPJ director-general Datuk Zailani Hashim said the agency is looking to help get the issue resolved, and would make its recommendations to the ministry.

He said the decision to allow the reopening of driving institutes was not under the jurisdiction of JPJ, which only carries out enforcement and compliance based on the road transport act and related laws, but the department would take the matter up to the ministry.

“If you ask me, it is logical and appropriate for driving institutions to be opened, but it must be remembered, JPJ is only the implementing agency, and the decision to allow operations to resume is decided at the ministry and government level, because all related matters have procedures that must be followed. I will take this matter to the ministry to find the best solution for all involved, and leave it to the ministry to issue any follow-up statement on this matter in the near future,” he said.

As with most businesses, driving institutes have faced a number of disruptions during the course of the long-running pandemic. Earlier this year, they were closed when the second movement control order (MCO 2.0) was implemented on January 13, but were allowed to resume activity from February 12.

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