Looks like the era of special number plates isn’t over, just that there will be no sources other than the government peddling it. “From now on, any buying of number plates must go through JPJ, without exceptions. This is government revenue and we intend to collect all of it,” transport minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said last month.

It didn’t take them long. Loke today revealed the ‘Malaysia’ special number plate series at the transport ministry headquarters in Putrajaya. Introduced in conjunction with the upcoming Merdeka Day celebrations, which carries the theme Sayangi Malaysiaku, the plate series will be from numbers Malaysia 1 to Malaysia 9999.

The plate series will be open for public bidding from July 2-16 at all state JPJ HQs nationwide, and tender results will be announced on August 23, the ministry said. The government expects to collect over RM22 million from this “once in a lifetime” series (V series netted RM22m), and with “cross subsidising” at play, the transport ministry hopes to get bigger allocations for improving public transport.

Loke said that no numbers will be reserved for VIPs and all numbers will go to the highest bidder, except for Malaysia 2020, which will be offered to prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The last special plate introduced was UP, but there have been a host of special plates in recent times. These include G1G-G999G, X, XX, YY, UU, GTR, GG, SAM, K1M, T1M, A1M, US, SMS, NBOS, NAAM, VIP, G, GT, U, Y, PERFECT, PATRIOT and FB by JPJ itself.

Loke said last month that an electronic bidding system for number plates will be introduced to replace the current one, which is being carried out manually. He said that he has instructed JPJ to prepare the system for introduction at the beginning of next year.

“At the moment you need to physically show up to bid for certain numbers at JPJ offices in certain states. We hope to roll out the online system by January 2019, which will allow more vehicle owners to bid for special number plates,” he stated, adding that the new e-bidding system will improve transparency and efficiency as well as increase revenue for the government.

Will successful bidders be able to use stylised fonts as shown here?