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E-bidders blocked from dream plate numbers suspect 'VIPs' hogging options

There are also complaints about a lack of transparency in the JPJeBid system.

Nur Hasliza Mohd Salleh
2 minute read
Bidders for vehicle registration numbers have complained of being unable to access the numbers they want.
Bidders for vehicle registration numbers have complained of being unable to access the numbers they want.

Bidders for vehicle registration numbers are up in arms after discovering that the online system has blocked the bidding process, saying no concrete reason or explanation has been given so far. 

A number of them also said they felt cheated and manipulated by the JPJeBid system, which is fully managed by the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

The JPJeBid system was introduced by JPJ in 2019, allowing road users to compete against each other for their registration number of choice. 

MalaysiaNow understands however that dozens of registration numbers for the letters "FF" from the federal territory of Putrajaya have been blocked off. 

Vehicle registration number dealer Wallace Choy said the restrictions were widely attributed to the influence of a "VIP" group coupled with a lack of transparency in the system itself. 

Choy, of Auto Plate Division, said it was possible that the group had already made the minimum payment on these numbers to keep them away from public bidding. 

"We don't know who blocked these numbers," he added. 

"Even normal registration numbers, not special ones such as the one- or two-digit series, have been blocked from bidding." 

Choy said such a thing had happened before, involving a series of letters from certain states like Johor – J – and Perak – A.

For the "FF" series, more than 60 numbers have been blocked from open bidding on JPJeBid.

If the situation continues, said Choy, the government might lose out on national revenue. 

He said blocking the numbers would become a form of leakage as road users would be denied the right to bid for the numbers of their choice.  

"This is unfair because the system originally wanted transparency, but many numbers cannot be bid for," he said. 

"And after the series are sold out, these numbers are found for sale on the market. This hasn't happened just once or twice. This has happened many times. 

"At first, they are blocked, but after a few months, these numbers re-emerge." 

He urged the authorities, especially JPJ and the transport ministry, to be more transparent about the restriction of vehicle registration numbers.

If some numbers have indeed been blocked from public bidding, he said, there should be an explanation of who is behind it and why they are being blocked. 

When the bidding process was still carried out manually, he added, bidders were told why some numbers were off limits. 

"The previous system still used A4 paper," he said. 

"JPJ would write that these numbers were not up for bidding because they were for government vehicles, official cars, and so on. 

"Don't just throw out these numbers without stating why they are not available for bidding."