Digital plates won’t be compulsory for car owners if introduced, says Loke

KUALA LUMPUR: The digital car plate or eplate system will not be compulsory for vehicle owners if it is introduced by Putrajaya, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

Loke said making it compulsory would impose more costs on vehicle owners.

“As proposed, if there is any implementation, we will not make this compulsory because many would complain.

“For existing vehicle owners, if we were to ask them to change car plates, there will be additional cost,” he said during his ministerial winding-up speech on Budget 2023 at the committee stage in Parliament on Wednesday (March 22).

Loke said the eplate system might be implemented gradually and for new vehicles.

“We will look into this issue along with changes to the system,” he added.

Loke also said the ministry’s digitalisation department is looking into replacing its current mainframe IT system into a cloud-based one.

However, Loke said the ministry is looking at several security issues involved.

He was responding to Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam), who proposed the use of digital car plates in his parliamentary speech earlier.

Dr Wee interjected and asked if the ministry was considering the involvement of insurance companies in implementing the digital plate system.

“Maybe we can also give a rebate to those who change (their plates) and we can allow the installation to be done by accessory companies. I think this will harmonise the situation,” said Dr Wee.

In response, Loke said insurance companies have proposed related initiatives as digital plates could reduce the incidence of car theft.

“We welcome insurance companies to give us their views and proposals, including for the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) project.

“There were insurance companies that proposed the implementation (of the digital car plate).

“We will consider any requests or proposals from insurance companies,” he said.

Earlier in Parliament, Dr Wee said eplates were used by 95% of countries in the world and it is time for Malaysia to do so.

Dr Wee said the proposed eplate system could use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology as well as curb car theft.

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