The ‘Malaysia’ special number plate series has set a new record for the highest sum paid for a specific vehicle registration plate, with RM1,111,111 being paid for ‘Malaysia 1’. The successful bid by Aldi International broke the previous record held by ‘V1’, which was purchased for RM989,000 in 2016, The Star reports.

The Johor-based company also successfully won the bids for ‘Malaysia 2’ (RM422,000) and ‘Malaysia 4’ (RM162,000), which were the fourth and seventh highest bids for the special Malaysia plates, which have been introduced in conjunction with the upcoming Merdeka Day celebrations and was first announced back in June this year. The third highest bid was RM501,500 for ‘Malaysia 99’, which went to the owner of mini-market chain 99 Speedmart.

The series, which runs from ‘Malaysia 1’ to ‘Malaysia 9999’, has raked in more than RM13 million for the government, according to transport minister Anthony Loke. “Through this exercise, the government has earned RM13.1 million. All of this money will go into the government’s coffers. The number of successful bids was 3,353,” he said. A total of 6,645 numbers in the series are still available,

Meanwhile, ‘Malaysia 8055’ received the highest number of bids, at 49. The winning bid for that plate was RM81,888. Other numbers that drew a large number of bids included ‘Malaysia 100’, with 31 bids, and ‘Malaysia 1957’, which received 29 bids.

Loke said he placed a bid for ‘Malaysia 509’ but did not manage to obtain the number as his RM1,509 bid was 11th highest, well behind the winning bid of RM20,000. “This shows that our government is transparent in number plate bidding, as even a minister can lose out,” he explained.

Loke said the exercise revealed that the previous government lost more than RM100 million in potential revenue by issuing special registration numbers to non-governmental bodies, only making RM1 million per series from the tender of each. “Let’s say, one series of special plate numbers can collect about RM5 million. We have had over 30 special series before this. That is over RM100 million that could have gone to the government,” he said.

“Now, we will close this leakage and ensure all bidding goes directly into the government’s coffers. Looking at the encouraging response to the Malaysia series, we will announce more special plates from time to time as a means to increase government earnings,” he stated.