Tiong Lai pressed to reveal who paid for ‘WWW 15’
KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has a public duty to disclose the identity of the person who paid for his RM24,200 car registration number, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
The DAP secretary-general accused the MCA deputy president of trying to hide the identity of a possible third-party who had paid for the questionable purchase meant for an official government vehicle, as controversy mounts over Liow’s financial backer for the coveted “WWW 15” number auctioned by the Road Transport Department (RTD) recently.
“Liow Tiong Lai must come clean. The Health Ministry must come clean. We feel he is trying to cover up by not giving a straight answer,” Lim told reporters in George Town today.
A recording of the news conference was sent to The Malaysian Insider.
“The whole question of accountability is absent,” said Lim.
“Did he pay? He said no. Did the health ministry pay? He said no. So who paid? Hantu (ghost) pay ah?
“If it’s a third party, it’s a very serious question, you know. Why is a third party paying for the Health Ministry for a car [registration number] that is used by the health minister himself?” the Bagan MP asked.
Yesterday, Liow was put on the back foot following the revelation that he had won the bid for the WWW 15 car plate last May 28.
He defended himself by saying that “the process (of bidding) was handled by JPJ (Road Transport Department)” and repeated that the bid was placed because of the change in his official car.
“All ministers are eligible for one number; I didn’t exercise the option earlier,” he said.
Liow then added: “Numbers to me are not important; what is more important is service to the people.”
Thousands of people had thronged the three Kuala Lumpur RTD branches to place their bids for the WWW plates.
Liow is the second person to come under public scrutinity 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.