Opening up vehicle inspection services to other companies.
Puspakom, a computerised vehicle inspection company owned by DRB-Hicom Bhd will no longer have monopoly in conducting periodic inspections on commercial motor vehicles in the country from next year, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Foke said today.
He said the Cabinet has decided to open up vehicle inspection services to other companies, even as it decided to extend Puspakam’s contract for another 15 years from September 1, 2024.
“The Cabinet has decided that all vehicle inspection services that are required under the Road Transport Act 1987 are open to all parties that are qualified and fulfil the conditions set by the government after the concession for Puspakom ends on August 31, 2024.
“The process for applying for a licence by interested parties is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024,” he told a news conference at his ministry here.
He said companies interested in providing periodic motor vehicle inspections must comply with the rules and regulations set by the Transport Ministry and the Road Transport Department.
“This decision is made in line with the government’s wish to create a simplified and competitive service environment for all Malaysians,” he added.
Loke said his ministry has asked Puspakom – which stands for Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centre – to make several improvements to its services.
These include increasing the element of digitalisation and automation in the car inspection service, improving the customer appointment and complaints system, and building flagship centres at strategic locations.
Loke said the government has been mulling to end the monopoly in the industry for a while but had to respect the concession agreement awarded to Puspakom.
“In 2018 during the first Pakatan Harapan government, we set up a committee to review all the monopolistic practice in the industries but the concession was still valid at that time until 2024.
“So right now, we have to make a decision on whether to extend the concession or not.
“And I brought the paper to the Cabinet that the concession has to be extended but with no exclusivity,” he said.
He also added that both Puspakom and its owner DRB-Hicom are fully aware of the government’s latest decision.
He said that the government hopes to increase the efficiency of car inspection services in Malaysia.
“Some bus and lorry drivers have to wait for hours in certain city centres of the states because Puspakom only has one branch there, so we have received complaints that locals have spent hours waiting.
“And there is not enough competition in this industry in terms of services,” said Loke, adding that opening up the market will give users more choices. – MMO