End of 'Kopi O' licences: Malaysia to start automated car driving tests from June in move to curb corruption

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia will in June start automated car driving tests, in a move to reduce graft at vehicle driving centres, Road Transport Department (JPJ) director general Shaharuddin Khalid said on Thursday (Jan 23).

Under the new system, learner drivers will no longer have a JPJ officer sitting next to him or her during the driving test.

The examiners will monitor tests from a control room at the driving institute, thus reducing the interaction between learner drivers and the officers that led to corruption.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said last year that the automated driving test would be introduced to prevent instances of what is known as "Kopi O" licences in Malaysia - bribes paid to JPJ examiners to get "guaranteed pass packages".

Datuk Seri Shaharuddin told a news conference: "During the driving tests, the candidate will still have to go through the normal circuit.

"However, the examiner will no longer be in the car and will monitor the test from a control room at the driving institute."

He added: "If the candidate bumps into a pole or commits any other mistakes, the officer in the control room will know immediately.

"Through this initiative, we will be able to lessen human-to-human interactions and increase the integrity of our department. This is also part of our digitalisation efforts."

He said the e-testing system is currently being implemented as a pilot project at three driving institutes in Johor.

The automated system would also be able to reduce waiting times for learner drivers, as they would be able to secure driving tests more quickly.

"One of the complaints we continue to receive is that students find it difficult to secure test dates, as there are no testers, " said Mr Shaharuddin.

He said a total of 122 driving institutes in the country have applied to open computerised examination centres on their premises.

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