New govt rules are hard to implement for workshops in rural areas, says group

SMALL motor workshops may have trouble complying with a new government regulation requiring a list of its mechanics and their qualifications to be displayed, said a trade group.

According to Malaysian Automotive Prosper Entrepreneur Association President Abdul Muner Hanafiah, many small workshop owners have no formal qualifications themselves, and tend to hire staffs based on their experiences.

“For small workshops especially in the rural areas, the new regulations are difficult to implement. They are not hands-on on matters that involve paperwork.

“Obtaining a certificate would also require workers to commit to evening classes,” he was reported as saying by FMT.

Muner defined a small workshop as those with fewer than five workers and revenue of less than RM50,000 a month, and added that the vast majority of workshops in Klang Valley would have no trouble with the new regulations as most workshops would hire mechanics with the Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) skills certificate.

At the same time, Izhamirul Izlan who is a workshop branch manager in Puncak Alam stated that senior mechanics with decades of expertise are less likely to attend lessons solely to obtain certifications, the news portal reported.

According to Izhamirul, many automotive graduates with proper paper qualifications have chosen to become a food delivery rider since it allows them to earn more money.

Meanwhile, Federation of Automobile Workshop Owners’ Association Khor Kong Siah said the new government regulation would boost confidence among consumers, and that the association would encourage and assist members who lacked qualifications to obtain them.

Yesterday (July 17), Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub said workshop operators now need to display a list stating the names of mechanics and their qualifications that can be viewed by consumers to help them obtain proper information to select workshops with qualified mechanics.

Salahuddin said that the condition was one of several improvements contained in the Consumer Protection (Workshops Information Disclosure) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 that took effect nationwide on July 1 and added that the move would encourage workshop owners to either hire qualified mechanics or help their mechanics to obtain proper qualifications.

“Operators also need to state clearly the category of spare parts being used, whether they are new, used or reconditioned to ensure consumers know what is being used to repair or modify their vehicle,” he said.

Enforcement of the amendment, which was gazetted on June 22, 2022, after a series of engagements with industry players, had been postponed for a year from July 1, 2022, to July 1 this year to allow those affected to prepare for the changes, he added.

“The postponement period ended on June 30 and it is in full effect as of July 1,” he said.

“Action can be taken for any breach of the regulations as stipulated under the Consumer Protection Act 1999 (Act 599),” he said. – July 18, 2023


Main pic credit: Global Institute of Studies

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