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Integrity of Puspakom under question

29 Jul 2019 / 14:45 H.

PETALING JAYA: The government should consider placing the inspection of the road-worthiness of vehicles under the jurisdiction of the Road Transport Department (RTD) again.

The task is now being undertaken by the Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centre (Puspakom), a company owned by DRB Hicom.

Former president of Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar (pix) said that apart from weaknesses in enforcement, there had also been complaints about integrity issues, including corrupt practices among officers that were beyond control.

He was commenting on an accident on July 4 that resulted in the death of 12-year-old student Wan Mohammed Adam Mohd Suria. The boy had fallen through the corroded floor of a school bus before being run over by the vehicle in Kandis, Pasir Puteh, Kelantan.

Akhbar questioned how such a vehicle could be allowed on the road to ferry students.

“It is strange how a bus with corroded flooring was allowed on the road after undergoing inspection. Did this happen due to the integrity involving either the bus company, driver or the enforcement agency?

“The RTD’s automotive engineering division had the authority to conduct spot checks on vehicles especially school buses to sniff out “leakages” or Puspakom inspection failures but this is rarely done. All we know is inspections are done on express buses but not on school or factory buses,” he told theSun.

“We hope such claims will be proven untrue but each time there is an accident, many suggestions and ideas for enforcement are proposed by the relevant authorities to prevent a recurrence. There is no end to these knee-jerk reactions. What is required is the political will and an effective enforcement agency.”

He suggested that a special committee be set up to examine the system and procedures of Puspakom, including its efficiency and integrity.

Akhbar said for the long term, the government should re-examine the effectiveness of Puspakom, which was formed 25 years ago to conduct inspections on commercial and private vehicles.

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