After finishing her Form Six studies, Nurul Hidayah Ali decided to become a driving instructor in her home town of Batu Pahat in Johor.
Now, 11 years later, she spends nearly every day sitting in the passenger seat, teaching students the ropes about driving.
For her, the happiest moments are when her students return to thank her after passing their
But she has many sad memories as well, including cases in which her students ran into financial difficulty and could not complete their driving course.
Speaking to MalaysiaNow, she recalled a student who had begged for an extension to save up enough money from his part-time job.
"They don't understand that we work for a company and we can't put things off when the office asks for payment," she said.
"The families that can afford it usually pay all of the fees in one lump sum. The less affordable ones pay in instalments until they pass their test and get their licence."
At times, Nurul Hidayah would take money from her own salary to pay her students' instalments in advance.
When the government announced a special allocation to cover the expenses and cost of licences for a number of categories, she felt as though a load had been lifted from her shoulders.
The allocation, part of the Belanjawan 2023, would cover the test fees for class B2 motorcycle licences for those in the B40 category through the MyLesen B2 programme. To qualify, youth have to be listed in the e-Kasih database.
The MyPSV programme meanwhile would allow the government to bear the fees for taxi, bus, motorcycle, and e-hailing licences for those who meet the criteria.
And through the Tekun Nasional initiative, a total of RM330 million would be provided, inclusive of RM10 million to help youth from poor families earn a living through business.
Those in this category would be given the capital to begin delivery services on motorcycles, with the government covering the fees for licences for certain types of vehicles.
Adam Haris Rusyaidi, an SPM graduate who is learning how to drive with Nurul Hidayah, said he was grateful to have received assistance through these programmes.
His mother, a single parent who sells vegetables and fruits at a night market, had asked him to wait until they had saved enough before registering for a driving course.
But after checking the criteria, he found that he qualified for the government aid. He was also able to save more than RM900 to be put towards getting a motorcycle licence.
He was only required to pay RM60 when registering for the course, with no further payments necessary as the driving school would help him claim the fees from the government.
"I hope I can help my family now because I don't need to wait for enough savings to get a
licence," he said.
"I can get it faster now because of the government programme."
Adam said he now felt encouraged to use the licence to find a job and help his family.
"I don't even need a car licence," he said. "A motorcycle licence would be enough to find work in the city.
"After I've worked for a while, then maybe I'll buy a car and get a licence for that."