Tuesday, November 24, 2009

File this under: Assorted Links, Malaysian

I've happened across what I believe to be a Malaysian news site, bintulu.org. The English may be spotty at times, but check out these (what appear to be reputable) news stories:

- The Cuban government is offering penile implants. TINSTAAFL has never been validated so strongly. Insert your own jokes here...equity/efficiency, from each according/to each according, incentives and information, etc.

- There's a market for personalized license plates in Malaysia.

“For example, the number 1 in Kuala Lumpur goes for between RM60,000 and RM80,000 while the same number in Malacca would go for RM35,000 to RM45,000.” The digit 1 is always the highest priced number in any state, followed by the digits 2, 3 and 8.

One Malaysian ringgit is about 0.3 US$, so these are sizable prices. The piece mentions one particular plate that went for over $60k; the per capita income of Malaysia is about $3300, so the plate went for 18 times average annual income. Scaled to America, that would put the most lucrative license plate at nearly $600,000. Were there to be a market or license plates in this country-- and the associated status that comes with such a market-- I could imagine highly public high income earners shelling out that much money for said plate.

The article mentions that the numbers are sold through "public tender"; I'm guessing that's some form of auction, though the bit also mentions about numbers with the highest price which could either confirm or refute the auction guess depending on how you want to read it.

- Three to four percent of Malaysian children of school-going age don't attend school. This seemed remarkably low to me; this data about Grade 1 intake rate, if accurate, would confirm that.

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