Loke vows to crack down on ‘lesen kopi’

Loke said he planned to gradually implement automated driving lessons in order to eliminate corrupt practices. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Loke said he planned to gradually implement automated driving lessons in order to eliminate corrupt practices. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PUTRAJAYA, May 24 — New Transport Minister Anthony Loke warned driving schools nationwide to stop offering “guaranteed to settle (pau kautim)” arrangements for students undergoing the Road Transport Department’s (RTD) licensing tests.

He also said he planned to gradually implement automated driving lessons in order to eliminate the opportunities for such corrupt practices to continue.

“To address the issue of ‘Kopi-O’ licence or ‘lesen terbang’, the way forward is to have an automated system, which we will first roll out the pilot project for the practical driving circuit test.

“We will issue a circular to all driving schools to immediately act on measures that can already be implemented, such as regulating the license courses rate and listing all the itemised bill to the customers,” he told reporters, following a familiarisation visit to the department today.

Citing the rates set by the RTD — RM350 for B2 (motorcycle), RM1,150 for D (manual car), and RM1,250 DA (automatic car) — Loke said driving schools are only allowed to charge certain extra services, such as transportation charges on top of the fixed rate.

However, he said such additional fees must be itemised in the receipt. Failure to do so would risk the cancellation of the driving school’s licence.

“I hope everyone will work together and have this implemented effectively immediately as it is the rights of the customer to know what they are paying for.

“We don’t want any institutions to charge hidden costs. Otherwise I will not hesitate to cancel their licences,” he said.

Loke said driving schools will be required to install a dashboard camera in their vehicles to ensure the driving schools operate with integrity.

“We will make it compulsory for the driving institutes to install dashboard cameras so that if an instructor purposely fails a student for not paying a bribe, the student would then be able to appeal.

“The vehicles are privately owned by the schools, therefore it is their responsibility to install the cameras. It does not cost a lot cannot depend everything on the government. The schools must be responsible and have integrity.

Asked if the driving institutes have been informed of the new measures, Loke said, “everything will be done in stages and we will issue the circular. We will also discuss with the schools, but these are some things that should have no compromise.”

As for the implementation of the automated system, Loke said the department will work its way to have fully-computerised driving lessons, starting with the circuit test.

He said the cost of the computerised system has not been finalised, adding that the new system will minimise human intervention in the process.

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