RM20 million ‘flying car’ fund meant for research on new national car prototype

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

KUCHING, Aug 7: The RM20 million government fund for the ‘flying car’ project was meant for research purposes on a new national car prototype.

Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar in making this clarification today said that the RM20 million allocation was originally discussed at the then National Development Council for the prototype of the new national car project (NNCP).

“The council then approved an allocation of only RM8 million for the NNCP prototype channeled to DreamEdge through Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT).

“MIGHT at that time was under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Department. The RM8 million allocation approved by the National Development Council was channeled to DreamEdge Company using the InnoFund research and development grant allocation from MOSTI to develop the national car project,” he said in a statement.

He was responding to a question from Pasir Mas MP from PAS, Ahmad Fadhli Shaari when referring to the statement issued by Parit Sulong MP Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad, then also the PAC chairman on Nov 28, 2019 that the flying car project had previously received an injection of RM20 million government funds during a question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Aug 5).

Clearing the air on the term ‘flying car’ again to prevent any misunderstanding from arising in the future, he emphasised that it actually refers to ‘super drone’ technology according to the actual context in the ‘Air Mobility’ industry.

“The drone and super drone industry in the context of ‘air mobility’ has a high potential in the local and international markets in addition to ‘urban mobility’ as this industry can be applied to various other sectors.

“Air mobility technology is also equipped with the latest technical development such as Artificial Intelligent (AI), Big Data, mobility and Internet of Things (IOT), which is now growing rapidly especially internationally,” he said in responding to Lumut MP Datuk Wira Dr Mohd Hatta on government’s efforts related to the development of ‘flying cars’.

In Malaysia, Wan Junaidi pointed out that this industry is currently being led and fully funded by the private sector and does not involve any financial support from the government.

His ministry, MEDAC, he stressed, only served as a facilitator to the development of local small and medium enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs in this industry focusing on drone or super drone services.

“The ‘Air Mobility’ industry as well as other high-tech industries are potential industries and are able to pave opportunities to a new field of entrepreneurship that can be commercialised,” he added.

Wan Junaidi however expressed confidence that the ministries involved in channelling the funds will monitor the progress of the project and the state of the fiscal injection.

“Again I would like to clarify that the current MEDAC priority is not a project, ‘Drone or Super Drone’ but, paying particular attention to the development of SMEs, micro and cooperatives affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, while striving to achieve aspirations and goals outlined in the National Entrepreneurship Policy (DKN) 2030,” he said.-Dayak