Focus on solving transportation woes, instead of car plate bidding wars - economist
SHAH ALAM - Malaysia’s journey to solve transportation woes are still far out of reach if we focus and celebrate minor things.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia economist Professor Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali said it would be difficult to address transportation issues if bidding wars on the most expensive car plate numbers are celebrated as opposed to focusing on innovation and the efficiency of daily transportation systems.
"The innovation of car number plates in Malaysia is extraordinary, there are various forms and arrangements that are mostly wrong if we look at it from the legal point of view
"A digital system was developed to streamline the car plate number bidding process. The revenue from this collection is considered a source of government income, how different are our priorities? he questioned
Azlan went on to say that what the nation needs is genuine innovation, which improves the efficiency of the day to day business of public and private services.
"Looking back at Malaysia Madani's 'Dayareka', it shows that we have a long way to go.
"Its now the time to adapt the latest technology for someting that creates real value," he posted on his Facebook page.
Azlan was commenting on the vehicle registration number bidding for the 'FF' series which recorded a high collection of RM34.29 million.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said 34,032 people participated in the bidding process and 8,348 of the bidders were successful.
The overwhelming response even caused the system to crash.
Azlan went on to say that in most developed countries, car plates are issued by the government with specific quality and standards such as size of letter and numbers, colour, the quality of clear writing, which is durable and capable of reflecting back when exposed to light.
He commented that what was more sophisticated, most cars were equipped with the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags.
Azlan said RFID technology has not only improved the efficiency of public services and business, abroad but has also changed the day to day business of transportation and made many existing practices outdated.
"For example in most developed countries, the term 'Toll Plaza' has been deleted from the dictionary of tolled highways, no longer visible when it is completely replaced by RFID systems that can read sophisticated car number plates accurately and in detail including accident records, pending summonses and various other related information.
"Toll collection is now done through the latest RFID technology application.
"No more congestion at the Toll Plaza, no barrier bars, no toll payment kiosks, no need to slow down the car, no need to find the right lane (Touch 'n Go, Smartag, or RFID). All is made possible by a sophisticated number plate," he reasoned.
He labelled Malaysia's toll payment system as 'complicated' with various conflicting systems, which has instead caused congestion instead of ease with the introduction of RFID into the mix.