No takers for 'June 4' car plate at auction

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 July, 2010, 12:00am

Any takers for the 8964 car number plate with a price tag of HK$125,000? Apparently not.

The number plate was removed from a government auction yesterday after no one showed interest in placing bids.

Hundreds of traditional and special car number plates went on auction at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, but the plate that attracted the most attention was 8964 - perhaps a reminder of the events in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

'Everyone wants a car plate that can make them happy. 8964 is too politically sensitive. It is such a heavy historical burden that no one wants to put on the back of their car,' said Ngan Man-hon, owner of Lucky Number Centre, a company that sells special car number plates.

Car owners may reserve traditional car number plates - which do not have alphabetical prefixes - at the Transport Department if they find that the government still owns the plates. The reserved numbers are then put up for auction.

It is not known who reserved the 8964 number plate.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China said it was not interested in the plate as it had neither a car nor the money.

Standing committee member Lee Cheuk-yan said the plate was too expensive. 'If it was HK$5,000, I may consider buying it. But at HK$125,000 it is better to reserve the money for our work,' he said.

Ngan said all traditional number plates, which disappeared after the 1940s, had an opening bid of more than HK$100,000. 'They all have historical value,' he said.

Number plate 9099 fetched HK$115,000, while number 601 fetched the highest price of HK$170,000 yesterday. The 280 registration marks put up for auction fetched a total of HK$2.827 million.