The Road Transport Department (JPJ) will be called upon by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to clarify the procedures surrounding the tender of vehicle number plates, Bernama reports.

PAC wants further details on the standard operating procedures (SOP) of the said tender so it can be made public knowledge, as it has resulted in controversy and negative public perception of the government as well as the winning bidders of the number plates, according to PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

“(Translated) Therefore, it’d be better if JPJ, through the Transport ministry, gives the relevant information to PAC,” he said in a statement. “At least it may reduce public anger.”

All this has come about, of course, over the recent Selangor BMW number plate tender results – five winning bids were not named and the amounts paid not disclosed, apparently (and ironically) to avoid negative public perception.

JPJ director-general Datuk Ismail Ahmad has said that BMW 1, BMW 2, BMW 7, BMW 9 and BMW 10, all of which went to “Anggota Pentadbiran Kerajaan” (government administration personnel), were all paid for.

“They made bids for the numbers and they got it. We withheld their names and the figures to avoid negative public perception,” The Malaysian Insider quoted him as saying.

He said the winning bidders comprised royalty, judges and cabinet ministers, and that it was standard operating procedure to keep the names a secret and to never disclose the names of bidders who were members of the royalty.

“It is not about transparency. It is our SOP and we have no bad intention in keeping this information a secret. We want to avoid speculation and doubts. As long as one has the money and used the proper channel to get the numbers, they can have it, whoever they are,” he said.