JB court fines S'porean $2.6k for licence plate swop

Tan Hock Lai was seen switching the licence plates on his BMW to those registered to a Hyundai owner at a petrol station in Johor. PHOTO: SIN CHEW DAILY
Tan Hock Lai was seen switching the licence plates on his BMW to those registered to a Hyundai owner at a petrol station in Johor. PHOTO: SIN CHEW DAILY
Tan Hock Lai was seen switching the licence plates on his BMW to those registered to a Hyundai owner at a petrol station in Johor. PHOTO: SIN CHEW DAILY
Tan Hock Lai was seen switching the licence plates on his BMW to those registered to a Hyundai owner at a petrol station in Johor. PHOTO: SIN CHEW DAILY

A Singaporean man who was seen switching vehicle licence plates on his gold BMW 320i across the Causeway in May has been fined RM8,000 (S$2,600).

Tan Hock Lai, 44, pleaded guilty in court in Johor Baru yesterday.

The incident took place on May 18 at a petrol station in Gelang Patah, Johor, about a 10-minute drive from the Tuas Checkpoint.

Tan switched his original licence plates with the registration number SLX27E to those bearing the number SKD2777C, which is registered to a Hyundai Elantra.

The act was captured on video by another Singaporean driver, who posted screengrabs on Facebook that same afternoon. Facebook page SG Road Vigilante also carried the post, which went viral.

Tan's BMW was caught speeding on a Malaysian highway about an hour after he was seen switching the plates, and the RM150 summons was issued to the Hyundai vehicle instead.

Tan was found to have violated Section 108(3)(f) of Malaysia's Road Transport Act 1987.

Under the Act, offenders face a fine of at least RM5,000 and not more than RM20,000, or a jail term of not less than a year and not exceeding five years, or both.

Tan admitted to the charge when it was read out in court, China Press, a Malaysian Chinese-language newspaper, reported.

Pleading for leniency, he told the court he has been unemployed since January and was under a lot of stress. He submitted his medical reports to the court, China Press said.

Singapore's Land Transport Authority said it is investigating.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2019, with the headline 'JB court fines S'porean $2.6k for licence plate swop'. Print Edition | Subscribe