Patriots or pimps and prostitutes?


Why should YPN be singled out for special assistance in this very lucrative contract?

Mariam Mokhtar, FMT

Everything in Malaysia has a price, be it education, justice, health, freedom, housing, business opportunities, and now patriotism. The sale of the “Patriot” car registration number plates to the highest bidder just proves to ordinary Malaysians that our authorities have no sense of right and wrong.

The ordinary Malaysian sees our leaders acting only if they will receive an eye-watering amount of money, and not because the action is right or is for a useful cause.

Malaysia’s latest scandal involves the Road Transport Department (JPJ), which has authorised an obscure NGO called the Yayasan Patriot Negara Malaysia (YPN) to auction the number plates.

YPN says it is hoping to gain a profit of RM10 million to RM15 million from the sale of number plates with the word “Patriot”. The money will be used by YPN to promote “patriotism”.

First. Why did JPJ commission YPN? Shouldn’t there be a transparent process in which an NGO is selected? How does one know if there is no conflict of interest in the selection process? The fictitious NGO, Mohd-Mutu-Mah Motors (MMMM), wants to know why it was excluded.

Second. Why is the government not holding the auction? Authorising YPN just smacks of something fishy behind the scenes.

Third. Why are the proceeds going to YPN and not to JPJ? The money could be used to pay for better road design or road safety programmes.

Fourth. What are “patriotism” programmes? What do they involve? Did the JPJ just agree to hand over the money to YPN on a whim? Did it bother to find out the scope of the “patriotism” events?

After the auction, YPN will issue letters to the successful bidders, which can be exchanged at the JPJ headquarters in KL for the number plates.

It is all very well for the YPN Deputy Chairman Nadzim Johan to say, “We hope we can get as much as possible to finance our activities,” but does he realise that the money is not his to keep?

YPN appears to have sourced an easy way to make money. Why the preferential treatment? Will other patriotic NGOs like Bersih be able to use this source of funds?

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