3rd national car good for Malaysia, Asean region — minister

Leiking speaking to reporters before officiating at the Automation and Industry 4.0 Seminar.

KUCHING, Sept 21: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is adamant in wanting Malaysia to have a third national car because he wanted to strengthen the country’s grasp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

Minister of International Trade and Industry (Miti) Darell Leiking explained that Dr Mahathir wanted this initiative to be an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) brand for affordable electric vehicles (EV), with Malaysia being the main producer of affordable EV in the region.

While Malaysia may play the role of producer, other Asean countries could participate by providing components for the EV.

“This would be a win-win situation for Asean countries as a whole,” Leiking told a press conference here today before officiating at the Automation and Industry 4.0 Seminar.

Leiking added that when Dr Mahathir set up Proton, his intention was for the country to move in tandem with the high-technology industry. However, after he stepped down as prime minister, the country misstepped while other countries in the region starting producing high-tech machinery.

“But that’s alright; we can still catch up. This is where Tun Mahathir’s aspiration for the third national car comes into play,” said Leiking.

He opined that it was not too late for Malaysia to have a common “project” with other Asean counterpart in the field of machinery production.

Leiking also advised Sarawak and Sabah to take advantage of Industry 4.0 because they have ample land and natural resources.

“I’m very sure if we start working with Indonesia, the Philippines and even Brunei, they may have connections in producing high tech machinery. As to what sort of machinery, we have to come up with whatever we know.

“We (Sarawak and Sabah) are very fortunate because we have West Malaysia that is already far ahead, and we can take their technology for our use. That is the way forward. We have to start thinking globally,” reasoned Leiking. — DayakDaily