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Friday, March 04, 2011

Motorists go the extra mile for the number plate of their choice

 Motorists go the extra mile for the number plate of their choice

By FLORENCE A. SAMY and LESTER KONG
newsdesk@thestar.com.my

 KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian motorists may be reluctant to pay their summonses but they will splurge a mind-boggling RM150mil every year for the number plate of their choice.

Records from the Road Transport Department showed that the highest bid was RM300,100 – for the number plate MCA 1 two months ago. The same bidder, Asset Nusa Sdn Bhd, also spent RM101,000 to acquire MCA 2.

The bid overtook the RM242,000 for TAY 1 last year. Prior to that, the record was held by a businessman who reportedly paid RM200,900 for TAN 1.

The JPJ website has listed out the bidders and amounts paid for the MCA 1 to MCA 9999 plates for vehicles registered in Malacca.

Among them were Noraini Abdul Ghapor, who spent more than RM19,000 on two numbers (RM14,444 for MCA 4 and RM4,888 for MCA 7777), and Tan Lay Kang, who forked out RM42,000 for three numbers (RM15,400 for MCA 8888, and RM13,300 each for MCA 3333 and MCA 9999).

Another is MCA 1949, purchased by the MCA for RM2,200 to symbolise the year the party was founded.
Duyong state assemblyman Gan Tian Loo from Malacca spent RM28,600 on MCA 5.

But it isn’t just the auspicious numbers that get the people’s attention.

A news report in 2004 noted that the plate TAH1 was bought for RM14,300 by someone who must have had a sense of humour.

Also, someone posted on a web forum several years ago that the most beautiful number plate he had seen was BBB 888 as it was designed like a piece of art.

Former Penang DAP strongman Gooi Hock Seng went around with MR 6001 to reflect his surname.
Some motorists are willing to hold off the purchase of their vehicles until they get the right number plate.
T. Manuel, who bid for 1988, said: “I waited a while and finally got it for only RM300.”

Another motorist, M. Phylis Mann, said she paid RM200 for the number 1798, which she said signified long-term prosperity.

In the past, JPJ had also released special licence plates for major events such as the 1998 Commonwealth Games and meetings of Asean and the Organisation of Islamic Conference.

“I will not be surprised if we get huge bids for plates starting with WWW – the acronym for the World Wide Web,” Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said.

Another possible popular choice would be the Selangor plate carrying the letters BMW.
The JPJ has earned significant revenue from tenders of special numbers, which is its third highest source of revenue after the renewal of road tax and driving licences.

Currently there are 21,250,145 registered vehicles on the road.

Related Stories:
KL licence plates may get suffixes attached

 

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