The parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has tabled its report on the “flying car” issue last Thursday.
The issue has been at the centre of public attention. In particular, many are confused on the exact details of the project and whether or not public funds has been used for its development.
The PAC report has found that RM20 million has indeed been invested by Venture Tech Sdn Bhd (VTSB), a government-owned subsidiary, to Aerodyne Ventures Sdn Bhd (AVSB), the private company who is developing the “flying car” technology.
However, the PAC report has also highlighted that the RM20 million investment to AVSB is not to develop the “flying car”. Instead, the investment is part of the government’s policy to support the growth of high performing and technology-driven companies, which in the case of AVSB, is in the air mobility industry. Indeed, air mobility will be an important technology sector that will be used in other key industries such as construction, security, and agriculture.
The RM20 million investment will be used for the development of data processing centre, capital expenditure, and research and development in this area. The PAC has also recommended that an audit be carried out to ensure that the RM20 million is not used for the “flying car” project.
Therefore, it is important to dispel the confusion that the government is developing a national “flying car” and that public funds have been used for such purpose.
Nobody is denying that the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development has the role to support and encourage entrepreneurship, especially in the technology sector. However, The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development should take heed of the findings and recommendations of the PAC to avoid further confusion.
The Ministry should also focus on its wider mandate to develop entrepreneurship in Malaysia, as it has been allocated RM539 million in the recent budget for that purpose. The investment in AVSB is just one among the many that are undertaken by the government and is led by the private sector.