What’s in a number that some are willing to pay a bomb for it?

PETALING JAYA: What is it that attracts people to pay through the nose to secure a fancy number for their cars?

Malaysians who are obsessed with fancy numbers are normally those from the rich society.

They indulge in securing such registration numbers to either satisfy their belief in the significance of such numbers or for social status.

To some Malaysians, especially the Chinese, certain sets of numbers will play a role in enhancing their luck and life.

The perception among Malaysians is that certain nice-sounding numbers such as three, six, seven, eight and nine should be acquired as they sound like words that bring prosperity, luck, good fortune, wealth and a good, long life.

The highly superstitious Chinese will also often avoid certain numbers like four in their daily usage as it sounds like death in the various Chinese dialects and Mandarin, so it often affects their decisions when booking car registration numbers.

This makes car registration number bidding a very lucrative “business” for the Road Transport Department (JPJ), as it “cashes in” on the huge demand.

Certain personalities would stop at nothing to acquire the numbers of their choice.

According to the guidelines for choosing number plates in the JPJ website, the golden numbers are 1 to 10, and the bid is a minimum RM10,000.

Numbers that are part of the “auspicious” category have a minimum bidding price of RM2,000, while interesting numbers have a starting price of RM300. Other numbers that are not in the above three categories can be bought at a price of RM300.

Recently, Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim had famously paid RM520,000 and RM748,000 for car registration numbers WWW 1 and W1N respectively.

He reportedly stated that he had bought the car registration numbers through official channels, and that the money could then be used for the people’s benefit.

The JPJ’s annual revenue from such sales is reportedly about RM170 million.

It is no secret that fancy car registration numbers are very sought after, as far as status is concerned. A Google search reveals that there are several local websites dedicated to educating buyers on steps to buy their favourite numbers.

There is even a mobile app for devices using the Android OS that was developed to update phone users on readily available numbers for purchase.

Numerologist Marinah Ng, who runs “Marinah Numerologist”, said although certain numbers like 8 or 9 were considered lucky symbolically to the Chinese, it should not always be perceived as such.

“A person who wants to choose a good combination of numbers for their car must look at their own personal numbers before deciding to adopt a set of ‘auspicious’ numbers,” she told theantdaily.

Contrary to popular belief, numbers that are deemed “lucky” and more valuable by Chinese convention do not apply in numerology, and Ng believes that even an unlucky-sounding number like four can be good for individuals.

“This depended on how we calculate the person’s life, like their names and so on … in numerology, all the numbers can be good or bad, depending on the person’s ‘life’s specification’.

“For example, the number 138 may mean ‘prosperous in life’, but actually to some people, this number can easily attract accidents,” she said.

She also said in her years of consultation, despite a growing interest in car registration numbers reflecting individual personalities, her clients hardly come to her to pick specific numbers for their cars.

“Most of my clients usually come when they needed to change their names or seek advice on what handphone number they should be getting. Car numbers are usually the last thing they will ask,” she said.

However, she said a good combination of numbers, including those in car number plates, would be useful in elevating a person’s chances for better successes in life.

Author: Cindi Loo

Source: The Ant Daily

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