Najib should show leadership and just scrap the silly and and unpatriotic idea of auctioning “Patriot” number plates and not allow the national shame and dishonour to prolong any further

Defence Minister and former Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has disclaimed responsibility for the idea of granting auction rights over the “Patriot” number plates to Yayasan Patriot Negara Malaysia (YPNM).

He said he had no knowledge about the award of the “Patriot” plates auction rights to YPNM, stressing categorically that he did not approve anything related to the Patriot licence plates when he was acting Transport Minister.

If so, the current Transport Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai must bear full responsibility for awarding the auction rights over the “Patriot” plates to YPNM, and he must explain the rationale for this silly and unpatriotic idea in putting up “patriotism” on the auction block!

In fact, the Deputy Transport Minister, Abdul Aziz Kaprawi had admitted that it was Liow who had approved the “Patriot” number plates to be auctioned by an obscure NGO, hoping to raise from RM10 million to RM15 million.

There should be no need to drag out this “Patriot” plates farce and fiasco, which display not only a shocking absence of good and proper judgment by our Ministers but even a perverted understanding of the meaning of “patriotism” where everything has a price!

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, should show leadership and just scrap the silly and unpatriotic idea of putting “patriotism” on the auction block with the whole exercise of auctioning “Patriot” number plate.

If further arguments are needed, there is no better case against the “Patriot” numbers plate which has been put up by the UMNO State Assemblyman, Tengku Putra Haron Aminurrashid (Kempas – Johor) who in his blog “Patriot”,

likened the selling of the ‘Patriot’ vanity car registration number plates to prostitution.

Tengku Putra said: “This act of selling the plates is akin to ‘prostituting’ the sacred word to the highest bidder making them pimps, not patriots.

He asked whether YPNM understood the word “patriot” and whether it conducted background checks on those bidding for the plates, posing the following questions:

“Among those who win the bid could be known economic traitors who have sabotaged the nation to make a fast buck. Are they worthy of carrying these plates?

“Don’t the organisers want to ascertain or ensure first that the bearers are true patriots?”

Tengku Putra said this would be even worse if the winning bidders were not Malaysian citizens.

“If a foreigner wins the bid for “Patriot 1”, symbolically, the organisers have sold our country.

“When it is open to any Tom, Dick and Harry with money, we might end up with a Dick who could have sold his mother not to mention his country with those plates flashed on his car!”

Why is Najib allowing the farce and fiasco of putting “Patriotism” on the auction block by granting YPNM the rights to auction “Patriot” number plates to prolong which can only bring shame and dishonour to Malaysia and the genuine patriots in the country?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah