Unlike other types of businesses around, the driving school or institute industry is strictly controlled by the Road Transport Department or the JPJ (Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan).

Like a school teacher, who aspires to become a headmaster or principal one fine day, an instructor, I am very certain, possesses high aspirations that eventually, he will be able to start an institute of his own.

The above feeling or ambition was embedded in my close friend and buddy, a Mr. Chin, 69. For readers’ information, the said Mr. Chin, has been involved in the driving school business for around 45 years or so. I have written an elaborate article on the above personality in one of my earlier blog post.

Mr. Chin is a very experienced driving instructor in the Klang district locality. Chin, was formerly the President of the Klang Pool Car Association way back in the 1960’s and 70’s. He is currently still running the Sentosa Driving School in Berkeley Housing Estate. Even after more than 45 years in the driving school arena, Mr. Chin still has quite a lot of students seeking out his services to secure driving and riding license.

No too long ago, Mr. Chin and I went to Putrajaya where the Road Transport Department headquarters is located. Our mission to the above department was none other than to secure the forms necessary to open up an institute.

But quite some time has elapsed since we left the premises of the Road Transport Department in Putrajaya. Why has there been a lapse of quite a few months? Have my friend and I finally decided to give up our aspirations or intentions?

As a matter of fact, we have not. The desire to build or set up an institute, especially in the vicinity of Taman Sentosa or Sentosa Housing Estate in nearby Klang, still burns strong and steady. One should not forget that Mr. Chin operates a driving school in Berkeley Housing known as “Sentosa Driving School”.

Call it coincidence, if you wish, but to me, it is as if destiny has been pre planned in such a way that one day, the Sentosa Driving Institute was destined to be started there. Whether the destiny will come to pass or otherwise, is yet left to be seen.

I have always provided the encouragement for my buddy, Mr. Chin to build his institute in or around the vicinity of Taman Sentosa, Klang. The housing estate of Sentosa was started some 20 or 25 years ago. Taman Sentosa has today grown up into becoming a busy and bustling township.

From being a small and unknown small place, the town is today filled with lots of cars and motorcycles. In fact, during most times of the day, the roads are usually jammed up with traffic. Shops, supermarkets, banks, restaurants fast food joints such as Pizza Hut and KFC outlets dot this busy and bustling township.

I’m not aware about the population of Taman Sentosa. But believe me, this town possesses one of the best possibilities of setting up a driving institute to cater for the population here.

The youngsters of this housing estate, has infact all grown up. They are now ready to apply for a license. The youngsters are now 16 to 17 years old. They are now old enough to learn “driving”, so to say. In short, the “market” is now there.

To set up an institute is not a simple matter as some people think. A few criteria has to be taken into careful consideration. This article will therefore delve into the various reasons which support the setting up of a large institute in Taman Sentosa.

What must an entrepreneur who wants to set up a driving institute possess?

1) The experience to run a driving institute.

Not everyone can set up a driving institute or academy. First and foremost, a person should possess the expertise and experience to run it. Do you think a person who has an experience of 45 or so years of being involved in the driving school industry, has enough expertise to handle an institute? If you ask me, I will definitely say “yes”!

That is how I felt when I heard that my friend and buddy made known his intention to set up on institute. It should also be made known that my friend’s co-partner in his driving school business, a Mr. R, has also as much experience as my friend, Chin.

Without a doubt, Mr. R, who hails from Shah Alam, Selangor will be joining him in his venture to set up a driving institute when the time comes. So much for the question of “experience”. And how, let’s move on to other important factors as well.

2) Investment capital.

One should also possess the capital or capability to set up a driving institute. Intending to set up a driving institute these days take a lot of money. It’s not like “building castles in the air”, so they say.

After being involved in the driving school area for more than 45 years, it is believed that my friend, Mr. Chin, must surely have made quite some money. How much he has in his bank account, I’m unaware. Such personal things I feel, are beyond my domains to know.

Furthermore, Mr. Chin also tells me he has a brother in-law, in Kuala Lumpur, who is well to do. Money, therefore is not a problem at all. Besides this, “capital” to set up the institute, can be obtained from fellow instructors from a close nearby driving institute.

Words have it, that the majority of institute’s instructors aren’t too happy about how things are run there. And they have promised Mr. Chin that they are willing to invest at least RM50,000 each just to get away from unsatisfactory and unfair working conditioning at the institute where they are presently attached to.

3) Having a driving school permit.

To possess a driving school permit would be of some assistance or help. It is believed that a person trying to attempt to set up a driving institute these days stands a better chance of success than someone who hasn’t got a driving school permit at all. It’s believed to speed up things.

A driving school permit, which my friend currently possesses can easily be converted into a driving institute permit. For example, the institute to which this writer is currently attached, once upon a time belonged to a certain Chinese association in Kuala Lumpur.

A group of Chinese driving school instructors got together and they successfully managed to convert it into a driving institute entity. Therefore I am of the opinion that the driving school permit under “Sentosa driving School” enterprise, should encounter no problem at all when the time comes for it to be changed into a driving institute.

4) Getting Instructors with S.M.2 teaching permits to cross over to the new institute.

The problem above, as a matter of fact, should not arise at all. If a person like Mr. Chin, who is not only well known in the driving school arena, as well as the Road Transport Department, should have little problem over the question of changing or transferring of S.M.2 (Sijil Mengajar) from one institute to another. Anyway, the above remains a belief of mine only.

For all one knows, the new institute which is to be set up, might face some difficulties in getting teaching permits transferred from one institute to another. As the saying goes, “anything can happen”. It’s all left to be seen.

5) Transferring of certificates.

Getting current institute driving institutes vehicles which has S.M.3 (Sek Memandu 3) certificates transferred from one institute to another. If previously, this might represent a major problem, what the Road Transport department said a few days ago seems to have brought some cheer to those intending to set up driving institutes in the not too distant future.

The R.T.D. has announced that vehicles, from on, can be used indefinitely. However, these vehicles, including those used by the driving school industry, should undergo yearly PUSPAKOM inspections. As a result, there is no necessity for driving school or institute cars to be changed so often as previously required.

The above are but some of the important factors which should be taken into account if one intends to set up or open an institute. In fact, there exists other important and pertinent factors which should be dealt with as well. But I am afraid that if more and more factors are touched upon, this would probably bore readers. Therefore it’s best that this article is brought to its end here so as to avoid anybody getting displeased.

But prior to bringing this article to its end, there is one other important thing that should be discussed and that is the problem or question of “land”.

6) The availability of land to run an institute.

Financial capability, instructors with the necessary teaching certificates, vehicles and relevant personnel to run courses, perform pre exams and experience, are all important aspect that are required to set up a new driving institute, but nothing is more important than the question of “land” itself.

Pertaining to this aspect, Mr. Chin and I went to survey a piece of land in nearby Kampung Jawa, near Sri Muda Housing Estate. This piece of 5 acre land is located very close to a current, large driving institute nearby. To buy a piece of land these days will incur at least 3 million.

The next alternative therefore, is to rent it for the time being. Later on, if the institute should do well and is lucky enough the prospect of buying up the land will then be opened for further discussion. I await patiently for the Sentosa Driving Institute to be set up in the very near future. It’s a dream but then dreams are known to have come to pass quite often.