Thursday, April 16, 2009

Complaints Against Puspakom

Under the Malaysian Road Transport Act all commercial vehicles are required to undergo an inspection every 6 months.

The inspection process is conducted by a monopoly operated by Puspakom which is a subsidiary of DRB-Hicom.

Malaysian logistics players, particularly haulage and transport operators have suffered and, are still suffering the inefficiencies of the monopolistic Puspakom.

Some may recall this Bernama report on May 8, 2008:

Corruption Tops Complaints Against Puspakom

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 (Bernama) -- Corruption forms the bulk of 392 public complaints lodged against the Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centre (Puspakom) from 2001 to 2007, the Dewan Rakyat heard Thursday.

Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat said other than corruption, the public were also unhappy that they had to queue up for long hours to get services.

He also told Chong Eng (DAP-Bukit Mertajam) that the Puspakom staff implicated had been warned or sacked.

He said Puspakom had also grown over the years from 31 branches in 1994 to 64 branches currently.

"Operating hours at seven inspection centres had also been extended from 7am-7pm on Mondays to Fridays and 8am-1pm on Saturdays," he said, adding that 19 additional inspection centres were also opened in rural and remote areas in Sabah and Sarawak although the locations were not included in the concession agreement.

Ong added that business at centres located in outlying brought low returns as only an average of 36 vehicles came for inspection daily compared to the 100-500 daily at the main centres.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence from Malaysian logistics players to suggest the following issues that the Ministry of Transport should seriously look into on an urgent basis, particularly during this period of economic downturn:
  • Too much time is wasted by commercial vehicles waiting for the inspection.
  • The location of Puspakom centres are not well-thought out. The most glaring instance is why Port Klang, which is the commercial gateway into Malaysia, does not have a vehicle inspection centre. Operators lose vehicles for entire days during the inspection period. Many have full-time dedicated drivers just to drive commercial vehicles to Puspakom!

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