PETALING JAYA - The Sultan of Johor is the proud owner of the much sought-after WWW 1 number plate with a winning bid of RM520,000 (S$210,000).
The Road Transport Department's website (www.jpj.gov.my) listed "D.Y.M.M. Sultan Ibrahim Johor" as having outbid 9,998 others for the coveted plate.
It also listed "D.Y.M.M. Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong" for WWW 5 with a winning bid of RM220,000.
Yesterday, The Star reported that a "prominent VVIP from Johor" was the proud owner of WWW 1.
As expected, "lucky" numbers such as 8888, 888 and 88 notched high prices and were bought for RM40,000, RM165,000 and RM92,800 respectively.
The bid for WWW saw a new trend, too.
Numbers usually perceived as unlucky for the Chinese 4 and 7 fetched high bids, strangely enough, from Chinese bidders.
The two numbers are considered "bad" as four sounds like death in Chinese while the Hungry Ghost Festival falls on the seventh month of the lunar calendar.
Except for the single digit 4, the plates 44, 444, 4444, 7, 77, 777 and 7777 were all won by Chinese bidders.
WWW 7 fetched the highest with RM117,810.
WWW 13 and WWW 14 were bought by one bidder for RM23,210 and RM11,000 respectively.
WWW 444 was sold to another for RM10,000, while yet another bidder bought WWW 666 for RM44,000.
The JPJ listed Liow Tiong Lai for WWW 15; while WWW 97 went to Nazri Abd Aziz. It is not immediately known whether they referred to the Health Minister and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department respectively.
A Mohd Fuad Zarkashi won for WWW 69. The last four digits of Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi's identity card matched this winner (the bidder's last four digits in his IC number is listed alongside the name).
However, Dr Puad has denied bidding for the number plate.
"His father's name and mine are the same as well as the last four digits of our identity cards. This is very rare. I'm shocked!" Sin Chew Daily quoted him as saying.
On Thursday, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha announced that WWW 1 had set an all-time high bid.
It surpassed the record set by "MCA 1" in 2010, which was sold for RM300,100.
The nominal fee for a car number plate is RM360.
The JPJ collects an average RM170mil annually from the sale of vehicle registration numbers.