The recent controversy surrounding the proposed auction of 'Patriot' licence plates where the number PATRIOT 1 is rumoured to have starting bids from RM1 million highlights the high value many Malaysians still hold for personalized number plates.
The scandal surfaced when Yayasan Patriot Negara Malaysia (YPN) was reported to be planning an auction of personalized 'Patriot' number plates from Patriot 1 to Patriot 9999 that could generate as much as RM10 million in earnings.
This provoked allegations of abuse of power over how the NGO got hold of such a lucrative contract. Perak DAP has since lodged a report with MACC and the JPJ has issued a statement in early July that there was nothing irregular about special number plate programmes which are not new.
This is not the first time pricey number plates has caught the headlines.
Last October, MyWatch chairman R. Sri Sanjeevan came under scrutiny from the media when he reportedly paid over RM340,000 for two coveted BMV number plates. Questions were asked how a chairman of an anti-crime NGO could afford to come up with RM174,776 and RM165,000 for BMW8 and BMW11 plates respectively.
While the upcoming YPN auction could see new records being set, the record of the highest price paid in a vehicle number plate auction in Malaysia is held by Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, whose bid of RM520,000 in 2012 helped him top 9,999 others in the auction for the car number plate WWW 1.
Following is a list of some of the most expensive number plates in Malaysia on record, according to information sourced from the JPJ website and compiled by tallypress.com in June 2015.
KUALA LUMPUR: The first day of Ops Hari Raya Aidilfitri saw 170 offences and 1,030 vehicles inspected by authorities.
Bernama reported that among the offences were expired road tax, driving without a valid licence, illegal vehicle modifications and licence plate numbers that were not according to specifications.
Road Transport Department (JPJ) director-general Datuk Seri Ismail Ahmad said during the operation that began at midnight, seven people were also made to undergo urine tests.
“They were suspected to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” he said.
Ismail said police issued 54 summonses while the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) booked two people.
“The joint operation with various enforcement agencies was carried out to ensure road safety during the festive season,” he said after an operation at the Batu toll plaza on the Duke Highway on Saturday night.
The nationwide operation involved 1,800 JPJ personnel.
InJohor Baru, state JPJ director Johari Yusof warned express bus drivers to be careful during Hari Raya, adding that they were being watched by undercover officers.
“The officers will be in plain clothes and will buy their bus tickets before boarding like everybody else,” he said after launching the operation at Plaza Angsana here yesterday.
Some 160 personnel and 50 JPJ Squad volunteers, added Johari, were on standby at 30 accident-prone areas in the state daily.
“They will do so until July 25,” he said.
JPJ personnel as well as those from the Road Safety Department, he said, would also be stationed at rest and recreation areas to engage the public on road safety issues.
Johari reminded that heavy vehicles were banned on the roads on July 14 and 15, and July 24 and 25.
“These are the days where high traffic volume is expected for the balik kampung rush,” he said. “This will ensure the comfort of other road users.”