Transport Minister Anthony Loke defended the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) which has been criticised by the public for the delay in processing licence applications. APAD, previously known as the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), began operating on January 7 and was described as going through some “teething problems”.
“Such teething problems are to be expected, given the transition from the former SPAD to the current APAD,” Loke said, adding that the agency is also facing another pressing issue which is the shortage of personnel. The total number of job vacancies is 361 but only 253 have been filled so far, with the remaining 108 spots still empty.
Loke said if necessary, the ministry will instruct the existing staff to take overtime so the backlog of applications can be cleared. “It is especially critical as it involves the public sector, including permit renewals for cab drivers, bus drivers, and commercial vehicles. So, we are mindful of the potential impact,” he said.