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Drama Continue Now Tiong Lai say RTD Gave ‘WWW 15’ for Free

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — The Road Transport Department (RTD) has given the WWW 15 vehicle registration number for free to Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, the Health Minister said this evening, deepening the mystery as to why the number was valued at RM24,200 in the first place on the department website.
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 earlier said that the name listed as the winning bidder had to pay up, be it an organisation or an individual.

“I have received official notification from RTD that the number plate is free. There is no payment involved. Any further Qs pls refer to RTD. TQ,” Liow said in a posting on his Twitter microblogging account this evening.

The Sin Chew Daily reported today that the RTD said Liow must pay for the WWW 15 vehicle registration number as the bid was in his name.

“Although this car plate is used for an official car, we still consider who the bidder is. If the bidder is a ministry, it will be paid for by the ministry. If it’s under a personal name, it will be paid for by the individual,” an unnamed public relations officer from a Kuala Lumpur RTD branch was quoted as saying by Sin Chew.

Sin Chew reported the RTD official as saying that since the WWW 15 tender was in Liow’s name, the minister would be the party liable for the winning RM24,200 bid.

The official also told the newspaper that all the WWW registrations were sold through open tender and that the RTD does not reserve specific numbers for ministers unless directed to do so by their superiors.

A minister’s personal car could also be used as an official car, the official was reported as saying and cited the case of Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as an example.

Yesterday, Liow had said 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.

The MCA deputy president 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 said, “Not sure, I have to check”.

“All ministers are eligible for one number; I didn’t exercise the option earlier,” Liow had said.

“Numbers to me are not important; what is more important is service to the people,” he added.

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.-Malaysian Insider.