By Chan Foong Hin

KOTA KINABALU,Malaysia--JPJ has made an announcement that all road users have to renew their driving licence and road tax (LKM) by Sept. 30.

Previously those with their road tax expiring between June 1 to July 31 were granted extension of time / moratorium to renew the documents from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30 this year.

JPJ had in the same announcement stated that it would not extend the moratorium and further stated that checks and roadblocks to ensure compliance and enforcement by police and JPJ will commence from Oct.1 onwards.

Road users have been told that they can renew their road tax and driving licence online via MySikap or MyEG, or even schedule appointments via online to do so at post office or JPJ.

However, all of these require usage of the internet and computer/smartphone or other devices.
The appointments online are also severely limited.

This government has failed to realise that many road users, especially the elderlies and those living in the interior, are not proficient in the steps required to make and confirm such online bookings, some involving creation of user accounts with email verifications, and are left frustrated and fuming that they are unable to simply pay up despite having the money.
The PN government has forgotten the fact that Sabah remains the lowest MySejahtera registration rate, due to (poor) IT illiteracy.

There is further report that there has been a shortage in the supply of the paper which the road tax is to be printed on.

Many of these road users have tried their luck going to JPJ branches and post offices but were turned away at JPJ branches and post offices. This only led to multiple travels and defeats the purpose of reducing human footprint during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Majority of road users are law abiding citizens who wish to pay up their dues to the government and have no intention to delay payment of road taxes.

Government should think of incentivising those making payment online, i.e. give attractive discounts on road tax for those who do online payment.
Delivery charges of the road tax (up to RM10 is being charged) to the road user, should be absorbed by the government.
This is the way forward to encourage online transactions.

Should the PN government intend to continue with enforcement starting 1 Oct., then first make sure that the public can easily renew their road tax and make payment.
JPJ should open up walk-in to all JPJ branches for road tax renewal, with ensuring strict SOP compliance.

If they can’t do so, then clearly the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic is still being felt and the government should further extend the road tax moratorium beyond Sept. 30.