The Proton Wira has long been a favourite in Malaysia, but it seems that, unfortunately, it’s also one of the car thieves’ favourites too. According to data from the Vehicle Theft Reduction Council of Malaysia (VTREC), the 30-year-old national car has retained its status as the “most stolen vehicle” for the 11th consecutive year, based on claims received by insurance companies.
As reported by The Star, a total of 131 Wiras were reported stolen in 2021 (the most recent publicly published data), followed by the Proton Iswara with 75 reported cases. In third was the Perodua Kancil, while the Toyota Hilux – also the most-stolen foreign made car – takes fourth with 65 cases.
Granted, these numbers are significantly lower when compared to 2020, where 353 units of the Wira and 273 Israwas were reported stolen, but it’s still not a pretty sight. “There are stolen Mercedes-Benz cars being sold for as low as RM10,000, or a Hilux for RM12,000, and Wira for only RM3,000,” said VRTEC coordinator, Mas Tina Abdul Hamid.
As illustrated by the Wira, most of these cars at the top of the list are quite old in age. Mas Tina explained that it was because car thieves usually target the popular models from some time back, as the demand for spare parts for these models will be increasing as they age.
“The Wira was a popular [car] back then, and there are still quite a number [of them] on the road even though production stopped in 2009,” she added, saying that the car thieves are quite often suppliers of Wira spare parts, if not being sold domestically.
That’s not good news for the Perodua Myvi, which currently sits at sixth place on the list. As the Myvi – specifically the first- and second-generation model – continues to age, Mas Tina believes that the Myvi will soon also become one of the car thieves’ favourites.
“The Myvi is a target because of its looks and the fact that it is among the people’s favourites. The trend is almost similar (to the Wira). We now have a huge number of Myvi on the road,” Mas Tina said, adding that the recent shortage of vehicle spare parts due to the Covid-19 pandemic has also made the problem worse.
So what’s being done about car theft in Malaysia? Well unfortunately, Mas Tina said that it is very difficult for the authorities to corner car theft syndicates, as they often employ different groups of people. The stolen cars are also often brought over to Thailand, where some other party will be tasked with selling the stolen vehicles.
VTREC is working tirelessly with its stakeholders, including the Royal Malaysian Police, Road Transport Department, and the Malaysian Immigration Department to help reduce the incidents of car theft here in Malaysia, but we citizens can also do our part and be more vigilant to obvious scams online, as those are what give the car thieves incentive.