Disabled drivers want discrimination to end in e-hailing services

By THE STAR | 27 June 2019

PUTRAJAYA: A group of disabled drivers have submitted a memorandum to the Ministry of Transport, asking for equal opportunity to provide e-hailing services.

The group representative, Mohd Azahar Mohd Nordin, said many drivers complained about having to go through additional medical check-ups at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, when they already owned OKU cards.

"We understand the government allowed us to obtain the PSV license, but we have to get a second and third medical and hearing test.

"All of us already have the OKU card, legally certifying us as OKU, in line with the Persons with Disabilities Act," he said when submitting the memorandum at the Ministry here on Thursday (June 27).

It has been reported that disabled drivers could start applying for a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license free of charge from today.

"Those registered with e-hailing operators (EHO) such as Grab, MyCar, Dacsee and EZcab don’t have to pay the RM320 licence fee, as the operators have agreed to bear the cost as part of their corporate social responsibility," said Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

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Loke urged disabled drivers to register for their PSV licence immediately to ensure that they could complete their six-hour online driving training before June 30, since it was a prerequisite to sit for the PSV examination on July 1 or July 2.

On a related note, Mohd Azahar questioned the need for drivers to buy new hearing aids, as such devices would not be useful for those who born with full hearing disabilities.

"They ask us to buy new hearing aids for us to use when we drive. However, some of us have full hearing disabilities. "What is the point of us buying the device?" he asked.

He also noted that the OKU drivers were informed that they could only do their medical check-ups at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital.

"What will happen to the rest of us who are staying in other states?

"That will financially burden us, especially those staying outside Kuala Lumpur. Why can't we do it at other government hospitals?" he said.

He also said it was unfair for the ministry to hold driving exams for OKU only on July 1.

"What happens if any of us have family emergencies? We have been very patient for years, but we are still not treated like our peers.

"It is bad enough that we cannot hear, but now even the regulators refused to hear us," he added.