RM20mil for national car, not for 'flying car', says ministry

By BERNAMA | 29 November 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The issue over a RM20mil government funding took a new twist when the Entrepreneur Development Ministry said the money from the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) was not for the "flying car” or "super drone" project being developed by Aerodyne Group.

The ministry, in a statement issued last night, said the funding was for innovation and research and development of the third national car project, with Dreamedge Sdn Bhd chosen as its anchor company and MIGHT leading it.

The ministry also said it has no allocation nor the authority to approve funding for investment in any drone projects.

"This (super drone) project is a private initiative and fully funded by local companies. The project does not involve any allocation from the government and as such, was not brought to the National Development Council or the Cabinet as it does require government approval,” the statement said.

There was thus no need to conduct a financial and intellectual property audit on Aerodyne as it was not a government venture, it said.

"The project does not involve any allocation from the ministry and the ministry will not suffer any losses if the project fails to take off.

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"The ministry has been aware of Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) findings and suggestions with regard to air mobility. The ministry is preparing comprehensive feedback on the matter. The information provided by the ministry is based on what (information) the ministry has.

"Information on action by the other agencies will be reviewed by the ministry,” the statement read.

The PAC, in its report on the super drone project tabled in the Dewan Rakyat earlier on Thursday, and which was also uploaded on the PAC website today, said Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof had made a premature announcement on the project.

The report said PAC also found that MIGHT, through VentureTech Sdn Bhd, had approved an investment in Aerodyne to the tune of RM20mil that was sent on Nov 1.

The PAC also called for the Auditor-General's Department to audit the RM20mil investment.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who first mooted the controversial third national car project in June last year had initially said the government would not be funding it.

But he later said that it may get government funds because some government agencies may want to have a stake in the project.