Much Ado About License Plates

Over the last couple of weeks, the issue in the minds of the public was the license plate. I was wondering what exactly is the issue. (Just so that readers don't think I am biased, the Director of Land Transport Department is my brother.) The interesting bit is that this knocks the other, which I thought, is a much bigger public issue - the phasing out of credit cars - out of the picture. And not to mention, kalau dulu, many people wanted small licensed plates and now we got the real deal, there should be a lot of happy people out there. But instead there is a lot of moaning out there.

Is it cost? I thought personally it was a small thing. At first, I thought I was in the minority. I was happy and I was interested to discover that most people I know including my not so highly paid driver, the owner of the dilapidated house near ours, and many other others not in my income category happily changed their license plates and were probably among the first ones too. So, I thought cost does not seemed to be the driving issue of this topic.

Is it the inconvenience? Maybe. The first announcement only stated two companies, so the queue was indeed a tad long. But now there are about a dozen companies throughout the country, that should not be a problem anymore. I accept the fact that you have to go and take time out to do this thing. But then this is not the only thing you do.

Is it the time frame? The announcment did not say change straight away. At first it was until the end of the year. In that time frame, you could conceive a baby and give birth and you still have time to change the license plate.

Is it the fact that you were not prepared? I guess most people are in this category. We don't like to be told to do something. The stubborn streak comes out in many people when being told to do something. Public policy requires socialisation. I guess many of us in government failed to do this. But even if we do, how many people out there listen? A case in point was the first time we tried out the no plastic bag day campaign. We were out in the press about four weeks before that and every week, we had a mini brief sessions with the press and you can read it in the newspapers. Come the actual day, someone still comes up and say we were not told. I say to that person, you must be living in a tempurong world. But was I right to say so?

And so socialisation is the key word which many people want government to do and whether we do it rightly or wrongly will affect that policy.

Or is it something else altogether?

By the way, let me socialise these issues - if you have not transferred your salary to your bank's credit card, you can't use it at the end of June - this month; and if your RPN/STKRJ application is above year 2001, forget single houses, semi d or even terrace houses, look for high rises; and most importantly, you can't smoke in public places anymore.


Anonymous said…
Hi i bet you after this people will even make smaller plates. That's life in Brunei.Some people prefer to look different from the rest. I prefer the existing plate its easier to read from a long distance. I dont mind about the change but what bothers me was that the way it was introduced (mengaragas). Two shop for the whole country (nada masok akal) How come at first that existing plate which conform to the law become illegal in a few months time?
baz said…

sounded like my old boss talking hehe

anyway, agree completely with it... with "change" people need to know abt it in advance... its like for instance introducing a $1 entrance free to enter a park when it was free before... all this needs "foresight" hehe, which u pointed out lackin somewhere...

anyhoo... now with "hindsight", i just wanna say, its a good deal to introduce it that way, those who have already changed theirs to smaller plates can't complain coz we r given a time frame "till the lady gives birth", and now before things go out of hand, you then announced that its optional for us with the one or two alphabets licence... excellent move & well done to the authorities, coz i havent changed mine yet hehe, still with them big old letters and digits!

as for them credit cards, now thats something we really have to ponder on, just make sure, the intention is to help the credit cards owners who are struggling to pay off their debts and not the other way around, lets hope so, as we are an islamic nation and not oppressing those less well off, insyAllah :)
Anonymous said…
One of the frustrations I heard regarding this license plate issue is this:

Where is the rationale for this? Its initial announcement, coming out of the blue with no reason given, seemed perplexing. People do like to know the reasons for certain regulations or policies coming into effect. People are more demanding nowadays when it comes to government transparency.

Also, following that no reason was given for this regulation, people might wonder, what is so important about it? What about the new requirement for car loans to be paid back in 4 years? It is a more important issue for those who may struggle with this timeframe, and it would be preferable if the government could extend their energies into this matter instead of something more trivial like car license plates?

And yes, to some of the public, it won't matter who issues which regulation, they see the government as a whole and demand accordingly.

That is one view that I can share. I do not know if that helps, but certainly with these recent frustrations by the public, it shows that government needs to anticipate and understand public reaction when introducing new regulations.
ithinksoweact said…
Plastic to aluminium, aluminium to smart plates (rfid and so on).

Maybe we ought to have just gone high tech on them plates we'd be the only ones in the world to have smart plates.

Might be expensive to implement but at least we won't have to change them for many decades to come, actually it is the natural progression of plates in my view, it can't be dumb for long, it'd have to be 'intelligible' in the coming years or so. :D

Just a thought, thinking slightly on the periphery of common sense but could have been a long term option to strategise innovatively.

Thank you for anyone who reads this, that'll be all.

Anonymous said…
I just don't understand the point of it.

Why move to three letters, when you've only used up B and K? What's wrong with the other 24 of them?!?!

I'm a foreigner living in Brunei, so it's not really my place to complain, but, as an outsider looking in, it makes me laugh that the whole country has to change their number plates because someone, somewhere thought it was a good idea. Only in Brunei!!

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