Transport Minister studies requests to remove Puspakom's exclusivity
By TEH ENG HOCK
KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat MPs, non-governmental organisations and public transport groups are calling for an end to Puspakom’s monopoly.
Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat said yesterday that he was considering requests from these quarters to allow other companies to offer services provided by Puspakom (Computerised Vehicle Examination Centre).
“We have to look at the current concession agreement and also the negotiations with Puspakom. We have to see if we are bound by any agreement,” he said.
“So far, there are no business proposals yet. Just the proposal to remove Puspakom’s exclusivity,” he said after launching a Chinese art painting and calligraphy exhibition at Nirvana Memorial Centre.
However, Ong would not be drawn into revealing when the study on the proposal to end Pusapkom’s monopoly would be completed or when a decision would be made.
Puspakom has been in the news lately because of the swoop by Anti-Corruption Agency on its staff.
Ong said the arrests had affected the company’s capacity and services.
He said he had also asked the Road Safety Department and the Road Transport Department to identify the vehicles that had supposedly been passed by corrupt Puspakom inspectors.
Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Ashfar Ali welcomed the idea of removing Puspakom’s exclusive rights.
He proposed that the industry be de-regularised by allowing independent workshops with certified mechanical engineers to inspect vehicles, just like panel workshops appointed by insurance companies to carry out repairs.
Pan Malaysian Lorry Owners Association president Er Sui See said that without the exclusivity to hide behind, Puspakom would have to buck up or lose customers.
Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Car Dealers and Credit Companies Association vice-president Dave Lim said the Government should look at how other countries implement their vehicle-inspection systems.
“When there are more operators, there is more competition, which leads to more efficient service. Giving it to one company means there is absolute power, which will lead to corruption,” he said.
Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Indian Taxi Owners and Drivers Association secretary S. Balakrishnan said Puspakom officers had grown arrogant.
“They know that we have to tolerate them to get our vehicles approved. Let’s see how they operate when they have competition,” he said.