Wednesday, July 6

Driving schools in Sabah raising fee next month

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Wong posing with the fleet of vehicles at ARM Driving Institute, Tuaran.

TUARAN (June 23): The fee to get a driver’s licence in Sabah will be increased on July 1 due to the major rise in operating costs.

President of the Sabah Association of Driving School Operators, Wong Cheu Kheng said the fee increase only involved Manual (D) Class and Automatic Class (DA).

“As a consequence of major increase in operating costs, we wish to inform that the pricing structures only affect Manual (D) Class by RM100 per student and RM150 per student for Automatic Class (DA).

“This slight adjustment is only to recover related cost at the minimum increase of nine per cent from the current ceiling price. The new structure will include our value-added services.

“We hope to continue our excellent relationship with our clients, and assure you our quality of service will reflect a similar increase,” he said at a press conference at ARM Driving Institute here on Thursday.

Wong, when making the announcement, said the ceiling price had not been revised since 2014 in spite of the rising overhead and operating expenses.

According to him, three main contributing factors of the increase are rising overhead cost and operating expenses, the system and service quality of Sabah public transportation and a major hike by 67 per cent in minimum wage for the period of eight years.

“Almost all businesses are greatly affected and especially an upward trend in transportation cost involving fuel, maintenance cost such as parts and labour charges, tires and vehicles spare parts.

“Business operators who run a driving institute need to maintain their fleet of vehicles to especially fulfil Road Transport Department’s requirements and Puspakom’s routine inspections before renewing the commercial vehicle permit.

“Another contributing factor for price revision is due to the system and service quality of Sabah public transportation where distance areas, especially in suburban and interior divisions, are not accessible by public transport,” he said.

Therefore, Wong said driving institutions provide transportation services as part of their value-added services.

Meanwhile, the recent announcement by the government to increase minimum wage from RM1,200 to RM1,500 effectively on May 1 is too steep as many companies have yet to fully recover from the pandemic to absorb the costs.