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Malaysia

Auction of special licence plates to be done online and made transparent (updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Bids for special number plates will be done online to ensure better transparency in the process, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

The Ministry, said Loke, was looking into ways to further enhance the process to bid for these special number plates online to be more transparent and dynamic.

“Compared with the current manual tender system, the online one will be beneficial and convenient for the people.

“People would be able to see the bidding offers made by others through this system, and (interested) bidders can also increase the bid based on what they can afford or what others have offered,” he said in reply to Ma'mun Sulaiman (PH-Kalabakan), who asked if the Road Transport Department (JPJ) could set up a new system that was more transparent for the registration of new vehicle number plates.

He also wanted to know if the Ministry intended to set a ceiling price for the special number plates that were in high demand.

Loke said the system would also enable the bidders to see the winner of the special number plate auction when it is announced.

He said people no longer had to go to the JPJ counters to submit their tender forms, and could instead complete it at their own convenience.

In order to ensure a safe and effective online biding system, the Ministry, said Loke, would conduct detailed studies to develop the specifications and workflow process for the system.

The Ministry would also get advice from the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu), which had expertise in information technology, to give its views on developing the online bidding system, he added.

“The entire process is expected to be completed in three to six months. The Ministry (expects) the system to be complete and can be used early next year,” said Loke.

Loke added that the Ministry had no plans to place ceiling prices on the registration of special number plates because these would be awarded to the highest bidder and would be done in a transparent and open manner.

“It also adds revenue to the government. If the ceiling price is set, it would contradict the principles of an open tender,” he said.

To a supplementary question, Loke said a minimum price was set for the special numbers because otherwise they would appear to have no value.

“So it is best to place a minimum price (for these numbers) and let the tender system take place.

“For your information, these numbers have the potential to generate a lot of revenue for the government. For example, when the (Pakatan) government took over and introduced the Malaysia number plate series, it managed to generate RM1.11mil,” he added.

Loke also said that, previously, special number plates auctions were done by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

He said when their requests were approved, they would pay RM1mil to the government but then the number plates could generate more than RM10mil.

“For the government, RM1mil is nothing. Many NGOs requested to have these special number plates. They say they will organise programmes (with the money received from the sales of the number plates), so who is benefiting?

“Under the new government, the issuance of special numbers is under the government,” he said.

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