PETALING JAYA: Re-register your commercial vehicle licences or lose your permits this is the warning given to 80,000 operators who have less than five months to comply with the Land Public Transport Commission's (SPAD) directive to them.
Operators of some 350,000 public service, goods and tourism vehicles in Peninsular Malaysia are required to re-register their licences between April 1 and Sept 30 but only 5% of the 85,000 operators have complied.
Although lauding the move as a means to weed out unscrupulous and “Ali Baba” operators, many in the industry are worried that it would cause hardship for genuine operators if done hastily.
An official of the Federation of Schoolbus Operators, Mohd Saad Mohamad, said the move would help weed out non-genuine operators who “rent” out their licences and those operating illegal school vans.
“Licences should be issued only to operators who manage their vehicles personally instead of renting them out,” he said.
He hoped the re-registration process would clamp down on vans carrying school students without permits.
“It is a worrying trend as there are an estimated 3,000 vans involved in such activity in cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Baru,” he added.
However, many genuine operators would miss the deadline as they were not aware of the directive.
“We have about 2,000 registered members and this does not include those not registered with other groups,” he said, adding that there are an estimated 40,000 schoolbuses nationwide.
Though there are announcements on radio, he called on SPAD to issue notices to operators and extend the re-registration exercise to year's end.
Malaysia Tourism Federation secretary-general Taib Wahab said the re-registration exercise would streamline the industry.
“Between 3,000 and 4,000 licences were issued to tour operators but many are inactive. What has happened to the licences?,” he asked.
He suggested that SPAD simplify the process to make it easier for operators to re-register.
Currently, operators have to fill in a multiple question form and submit a host of documents with their registration.
“Operators are required to personally re-register their licences with SPAD's offices in Putrajaya, Muar, Kuala Terengganu and Kedah, online or via registered post.
“This may not be a problem for the larger transport companies but it would be for sole operators,” he said.
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