Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

KUCHING: Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar explained that the term “flying car” refers to super drone technology according to the context in the air mobility industry.

He said he explained this during a question-and-answer session in the Parliament sitting last Wednesday when Lumut MP Datuk Wira Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli asked about the government’s efforts related to the development of flying cars.

“I have to explain as there are some parties who are still not clear with the answer I gave. This is so that no misunderstanding arises in the future,” he said in a statement on Friday.

He said 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.

He further said air mobility technology is also equipped with the latest technical development such as artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, mobility and Internet of Things (IoT) which is now growing rapidly.

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

“The ministry only serves as a facilitator to the development of local small and medium enterprises (SME) entrepreneurs in this industry focusing on drone or super drone services,” he said.

Wan Junaidi said air mobility industry as well as other high-tech industries are potential industries and are able to open up opportunities to a new field of entrepreneurship that can be commercialised.

On a question raised by Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari — that on Nov 28, 2019 the flying car project had previously received an injection of government funds of RM20 million — he said, “After receiving information requested by Ahmad, I would like to clarify that there is an application for RM20 million, but not for a flying car project, it is however meant for research purposes on a new national car prototype.”

He pointed out the RM20 million allocations were originally discussed at the then National Development Council (NDC) for the prototype of the new national car project (NNCP). The council then approved an allocation of only RM8 million for NNCP prototype channelled to DreamEdge through the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for HighTechnology (MIGHT).

“MIGHT at that time was under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Department. The RM8 million allocation approved by NDC was channelled to DreamEdge Company using the InnoFund research and development grant allocation from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to develop the national car project,” he said.

However, he said he is confident that the ministries involved in channelling the funds will monitor the progress of the project and the status of the fiscal injection.

“Again I would like to clarify that the current ministry’s priority is not the drone or super drone project, but paying attention to the development of SMEs, micro and cooperatives affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, while striving to achieve the aspirations and goals outlined in the National Entrepreneurship Policy (DKN) 2030,” said Wan Junaidi.