The Transport Ministry dodged a question yesterday on whether vehicles bearing “TMJ” or “RZ” licence plates are registered under the Road Transport Department (RTD) or are considered roadworthy.
Instead of addressing the issue, the ministry regurgitated the regulations pertaining to the powers of the transport minister and RTD director over vehicle licence plate registration.
Among others, the ministry said the RTD director may impose a fee for the licence plate registration, and the numbers are based on where the vehicle is registered.
“Apart from registration numbers based on where the registrations are made, special registration numbers are also introduced in line with Rule 5A of the Motor Vehicle (Registration and Licensing) Rules 1959.
“The issuance of such special registration numbers is based on regulations determined by the minister,” the ministry’s written reply to Parliament yesterday states.
The three-paragraph response does not specifically address the “TMJ” or “RZ” licence plates that were raised, nor does it mention them.
The written reply was in response to a query from Pang Hok Liong (Harapan-Labis), who asked whether these plates had been registered with the RTD by any party, and if not, whether vehicles bearing such plates are allowed on the street.
The “TMJ” number plate is used by Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim while “RZ” is used by the Johor Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofiah.
Pang’s query had raised the ire of Johor opposition assemblypersons, who questionedwhether it was appropriate of him to raise the issue in Parliament.
Johor opposition leader Hasni Mohammad attempted to raise the matter in the State Legislative Assembly yesterday by submitting an emergency motion.
Speaker Suhaizan Kaiat turned down the motion, but asked the state government to address the matter in its winding-up speech on the sultan’s address.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke, when asked about the matter at the Parliament lobby yesterday, declined to comment.
‘TMJ, RZ’ plates: Johor Bersatu Youth tells DAP rep to respect royals
Johor Bersatu Youth chief Norul Haszarul Abu Samah is the latest to weigh in on DAP lawmaker Pang Hok Liong raising the status of vehicles with royal licence plates in Parliament.
Emphasising that respect for the royal institution is of paramount importance, Norul Haszarul called on Johor Bersatu chief Mazlan Bujang, Menteri Besar Dr Shahruddin Jamal and senator Liew Chin Tong to be firm with Pang, the Labis MP.
In his Facebook post today, he said that all Pakatan Harapan representatives should be reminded not to question the privileges of the royal institution, which he described as a symbol of Johor unity.
“Malaysia’s Parliament offers the space and opportunity for every elected representative to voice the people’s issues, especially economic issues, social justice, access to education for all, and to empower the national and religious agenda,” he said.
“For the people of Johor, loyalty to the sultan and the crown prince is unwavering.
“Johor royal institutions often play a role in balancing political power and ensuring that efficient and caring governance is always carried out for the benefit of the people, irrespective of race, religion and political leanings,” he said.
It was reported yesterday that opposition lawmakers in the Johor Legislative Assembly were livid with Pang for asking if two vehicle licence plates used by members of the state royal family are registered with the Road Transport Department.
Pang had questioned if the number plates “TMJ” and “RZ” were valid and could be used on the road.
The “TMJ” licence plate is used by Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, while “RZ” is used by the Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofiah.
Accusing Pang of insulting royalty, Johor opposition leader Hasni Mohammad attempted to raise the matter in the state assembly by submitting an emergency motion.
In the Dewan Rakyat, meanwhile, the Transport Ministry only regurgitated regulations pertaining to the powers of the minister and RTD director over vehicle licence plate registration.
Among others, the ministry said the RTD director may impose a fee for the licence plate registration, and that the numbers are based on where the vehicle is registered.