Third national car project may use govt funds after all. Here's what Dr M says

By THE STAR | 14 August 2019

DreamEdge CEO Khairil Adri Adnan explaining the use of a virtual reality simulator to speed up the building of prototype vehicles and robotic arms, among others, in this 2015 file pic.

SEPANG: There is a possibility of the new national car using government funds because “some government agencies may want to have a piece of the cake”, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“I suspect that because DreamEdge is doing a lot of things and seems to be capable, some other government departments would like to have a piece of the cake, too.

“It wasn’t me who approved it but it was done, so I have nothing to say, ” said Dr Mahathir.

He was asked about the allegations that DreamEdge Sdn Bhd had obtained government funding despite the government’s assurance that the car project would not use its funds.

The new national car is scheduled to debut in March 2021.

International Trade and Industry Minister Darrell Leiking recently announced that DreamEdge was chosen as the anchor company to develop the project.

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Leiking and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had previously said the new national car project would not be financed with public funds.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, in a Facebook posting yesterday, challenged Leiking and Lim to respond to Dr Mahathir’s statement which contradicted their “no public funding” announcements.

In a Facebook posting last week, Wee called on the government to disclose how much of a stake it will have in DreamEdge once its shares have been converted to ordinary shares.

“The conversion ratio is important as it could mean the government could end up owning more than 53% of the company, ” he had said.

He challenged the government to disclose the total percentage of its ownership of the company if the Redeemable Convertible Preference Shares (RCPS) are converted.

Wee added that it was not an issue whether the government owns 53% or 10% of the ordinary shares in the company.

“The main issue here is that the ministers have lied to the public when they promised that no public funds will be used, and claimed that the company is 100% privately-owned, ” he had also said.