RTD confirms about-turn, will award Liow ‘WWW 15’ for free
KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had applied to use the WWW 15 vehicle registration number on his official car, the Road Transport Department (RTD) said today, adding that it had decided earlier to offer it to the minister for RM24,200.
But the RTD said today that it has now decided to award the health minister the WWW 15 number for free, based on his eligibility as a Cabinet member.
Liow was forced to defend himself after it was recently revealed by the RTD on its website that he was among those who had won bids for various registration numbers with the coveted WWW prefix.
WWW 15 is among the vehicle registration numbers in the WWW series that helped bring in some RM12 million for the RTD. An unnamed official previously said that the name listed as the winning bidder — be it an organisation or an individual — would have to pay for the winning bid.
RTD director general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan said in a statement today that the department had received an application from Liow to obtain the number for his official car in a letter dated May 14.
“The WWW series registration number booking evaluation committee then decided to offer Liow the WWW15 at the highest bidding price of RM24,200,” he said, adding that Liow had three options in the matter.
“He could get it for free, pay at the highest offered bidding price, or he could also reject the offer,” said Solah.
Solah also said that the names of all successful bidders were made public, in line with the policy of transparency.
Liow, who is also deputy president of MCA, had said earlier this week that he was not sure who paid the amount of RM24,200 for the WWW 15 vehicle registration number he won in the recent RTD tender.
He had confirmed the Ministry of Health did not pay for the bid, but defended himself by saying that the “process (of bidding) was handled by JPJ (RTD).”
Pressed for answers over who paid for the bid, Liow had said, “Not sure, I have to check”.
“All ministers are eligible for one number; I didn’t exercise the option earlier,” Liow had said.
Thousands of people had thronged the three Kuala Lumpur RTD branches to place their bids for the coveted WWW plates.
Liow is the second person to come under public scrutiny after the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Sultan Iskandar, beat close to 10,000 bidders to win the tender for the vehicle registration number WWW 1, with the record-setting bid of RM520,000.