Malaysia 2017 news

Surprisingly, the series for the Wilayah of Kuala Lumpur which commenced in Sept. 2013 and which was to run for up to 20 years, W then W(A-Y) nnnn A-Y:

mal-2013-16-wilayah-kl_a-w-1973-a_c_wee2014vbmal-2013-16-wilayah-kl_w_w-4614-w_-2014vb

and after straight W, prefixed WA, WB etc nnnn L:

mal-2013-16-wilayah-kl_wa-4841-k_cu_2014vb

mal-2013-16-wilayah-kl_wb-8204-u_c_2014vbhas been stopped at WD 9999 Y and replaced by a letter never previously used in Malaya – V.  From 1 October 2016, V 11 started the ball rolling (1-10 are reserved for arrivistes) and  V 9999 was reached soon after.       The traffic in Kuala Lumpur is testimony to the overpopulation of vehicles in this prosperous, sprawling city – though I estimate that 40% of the take-up of new registrations is by small motorcycles, which are as prolific as they are in Vietnam and share the same registration system as cars and commercials.

V  quickly ran out at 9999, so  –  on with the first set of serial letters, VA-VY 10-9999....mal-2016-wilayah-kl_v-5913_nissan-2017vb

mal-2016-kl_vj-3786_cu_vb

By February 2017, the alpha serials have reached VQ!        So – not long before we see VA 11-9999 A-Y.

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The new capital, Putrajaya, built to take the strain off KL’s overgrowth,  where accommodation has been built for hundreds of thousands, and where government departments have been moved, has been a white elephant; the people just aren’t interested in living 40 miles away from KL.   The bizarre original plate issue Putrajaya 1-9999 for those who DO dwell in that silent city, malsi_putrajaya-3334_cu_vb

has finally been used up and from 1/6/2016 was replaced  with ‘F‘ perhaps for ‘Federal’ as Putrajaya is the (supposed) HQ of the Federal Government.    Not many around yet.  The Sultan of Johore bought F 1 for some record fee because he associates it with Formula One and his family have been motor enthusiasts and car collectors since motoring began and they got their first chequebook.

mal-2017-putrajaya_f-122_bmwmini-vb

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Honorary Member Stoel contributes this 1950s magazine extract of Grandfather Johore’s  HHSJ, one of several pre-war Mercedes 540K’s owned by the family.   (?Being returned to Stuttgart for rebuild?   It could be the Hamburg dockside.)mal-johorerh-sultan-40s_hhsj_m-b-640k-vbks

mal-johorerh-sultan-60sjo_jb-1_m-b300sl-vbks

Perhaps the same 540K after restoration, and bearing the ubiquitous HHSJ plates – His Highness the Sultan of Johore – still in use.  Indeed, he ran a HHSJ supplementary-plated Mercedes 300 saloon in London for many years, which I photographed in circa 1960, – and lost the picture.    Here  another HHSJ  example is seen plus Johore Bahru  1 on a then-new Benz 300SL.

mal-johorerh-sultan-50s_hhsj_cadillac-vbks

and (above) an interim HHSJ conveyance, no doubt from Lincoln or Cadillac,  probably in the 1940s.

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ptm-badge-close-up

A Malayan AA badge from early days, surmounted by the territory name.   Most, if not all, Empire countries had their own AA badges.

badge-aa-malaya2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A later type.

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PATRIOT‘  —   Here is the latest money-tree for the Malaysian Vehicle Registration Dept. (Vanity Division).      It seems that whatever notion they conceive to provide a plate variation, a gullible public will adopt – at the much-increased cost over a standard plate.     Perhaps they have seen the success of the Australian plate-marketing gurus – there are more dopey plates there than standard ones!

A New Discovery    (but see below…)

Having once glimpsed a Royal Australian Air Force pick-up truck (ute) on a Penang ferry, but unable to capture it by camera, I located their base this time, via Google Maps, and drove over to Butterworth in the former Province Wellesley to wait at the airbase gates for any traffic carrying dedicated plates.    As I arrived, a minibus left the compound and set off down the other carriageway.   The plates were of an unknown configuration.      Wasting time on a turn on the highway, I set off in hot pursuit, though he must have had at least a kilometre start.    My hired Kia achieved some higher-than-normal revs and before long I was behind D 1242 E, whose driver, a smart young Aussie soldier, stopped at my request.

mal-2017mod_d-1242-e_toyota-innova2-butterworth2017vb mal-2017mod_d-1242-e_cu_butterworth2017vb

He didn’t know much about the series, or how long it has been extant, but he did know that the D is for the Defence Ministry.    He kindly authorised a close-up shot – and now we all know about another Malaysian* format, which doesn’t replace the usual military ‘Z‘ plates, such as

.malmil-af-snrs_zu-3412_cu_vb

(ZU=Royal Malaysian  Air Force (U=Udara=Air)

* ….   20170223 – This week I saw another of these plates, but this was near Canberra, and the penny dropped.     I checked with guru Jim Gordon in West Australia and he confirms – it is an AUSTRALIAN ‘Defence Organisation’ plate – not Malaysian.   New one to me.     However, it is an unusual strain thereof, as the Oz-based MoD plates are blue on white as under and they have a legend below, but the Malaysian-use ones are made up in white on black, foregoing the legend,  to resemble the Malaysian plates.       Mea Culpa!

image002

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Finally another Stoel picture from Malaya’s past, showing an 1940s Johore JA 1551 and two British-plated Benzes:mal-johore-48-71_ja-1551_m-b-vbks

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Also finally  finally – a glimpse of Stoel’s notes on the Unfederated Malay States of Kelantan and Kedah before 1948.   (Improved image to follow if poss.)       We see the old Kelantan code KN of which we have only read – on the Humber, no 555, and  K 2400 on a c.1932  Morris Isis from Kedah which has continued its K code from inception (probably about 1905) through to today, albeit now using a suffix or two.    (I observe that 2400 seems a high number for Kedah in 1928-32, the period of manufacture of the 6-cylinder Isis.   That northern state was still on straight  K in  the 1960s, as I recall –  see the early Morris Minor below.) 

mal-48-50s-kedah_k-4757_c_wee_mminor-penang2009vb

 

mal-kelantan-06-48kl_kn-555_humbersnipe-vbks

 

 

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8 Responses to Malaysia 2017 news

  1. Again, nice photos, thanks for sharing. I was 11 days in Malaysia and Penang in 2011. I made some photos for my archives, and all series also described in RPW0.

  2. eu575 says:

    Hi Vic — Many thanks, this is fascinating! I had no idea about the V prefix. I haven’t checked the Malaysian government website for a long time, and completely missed this news.
    Now in March 2017 they’ve reached VU 4185, so VY 9999 can’t be far away. It’s strange how Kuala Lumpur — together with only Perlis and Labuan — is issuing 2 letters + 4 numerals!

    Except for the V prefix, the only interesting change on the govt. website in the past two years is that Miri (Sarawak) has reached the end of the 2nd series (QMY 9999) and is now issuing the 3rd series (today at QM 475 C).
    Sadly they don’t include Putrajaya at all, neither the old series nor the F prefix.

    You mention VA 11 A — but shouldn’t the next Kuala Lumpur series be VAA 11 up to VYY 999 ?

    Cheers, Alex

    • Of course you must be right, Alex – VAA ll onwards….
      My mental capacity reduces by the day.
      In fact, if you have anything complicated to discuss with me, I’d get on to it pretty damn quickly!
      PLUS – today (15/3) records another unwanted birthday for me….

  3. aista01 says:

    About the HHSJ Mercedes 540K (1st picture) : The place is very probably Hamburg. The last, partially visible, sentence in the German caption says “Mit der isarstein erreichte der 540K den Hamburger Hafen” and the VW Beetle at right has a German 1956 series plate.
    Cheers, Marcello

  4. Marcello – what does isarstein erreichte’ mean????

    • eu575 says:

      Happy Birthday, Vic!

      It seems that the “Isarstein” was a ship, built in Hamburg in 1954, which would often sail between Port Adelaide (AUS) and Hamburg — see http://passengersinhistory.sa.gov.au/node/928503 — so a stopover in Malacca or Singapore would have been possible, and convenient for the Sultan.
      The sentence that Marcello quotes reads: “On the Isarstein, the 540K reached the Port of Hamburg”.
      The whole caption beneath the photo (as much as we can see) reads roughly: “A valuable addition to the Daimler-Benz museum in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim is this 5-litre 6-cylinder compressor 540K sports car, which has become extremely rare. The deceased father of the Sultan had acquired the cabriolet, built in 1937, for his Mercedes-Benz fleet. On the Isarstein, the 540K reached the Port of Hamburg”.

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