CYBERJAYA: The new national car project is expected to roll out it first model before 2020, said Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof.
He said the semi-autonomous car would enter the global market and cater to the demand from young people.
“We are now shortlisting two to three partners to participate in this project, including Silterra and CTRM, and expect (the selection) to be concluded by year-end.
“The prototype for this (car) model is expected to be ready by early next year,” he told reporters at a media briefing on the new national car project here.
Mohd Redzuan said the project would be fully funded by the private sector with the help of several government ministries.
Asked on whether this project was feasible given the short time for completion, Mohd Redzuan said the project would use the latest technology.
“This new car will use 100% disruptive technology and not follow conventional car manufacturing (methods),” he added.
Also present at the briefing was Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (Might) president and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman.
Mohd Yusoff said this project was totally new and differentiated itself from the previous national car project by embracing Industry 4.0.
He said the role of Might was to emphasise the importance of having a new car that would help spur development.
“Besides that, Might is also mandated with the task to coordinate with various ministries, agencies and the industry, as well as the academia to make the project a success,” he said, according to a report by Bernama.
Meanwhile, in an immediate response, MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has raised some concerns over the selection of the two partners.
“Silterra, which was started by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during his first term as Prime Minister, is wholly owned by our sovereign fund, Khazanah Nasional.
“Silterra is the second largest money loser for Khazanah. Silterra had cumulative losses totalling RM7.3bil for 10 years up to 2011, mostly funded by Khazanah,” he said.
“CTRM appears to refer to Composites Technology Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
“If this is true, CTRM is a subsidiary of the DRB-Hicom Group owned by tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, similar to Proton Bhd,” he said.
“Due to their history, the emergence of these two companies now raises serious doubts over the promise that no public funds will be used for the third national car project,” he said.
Dr Wee said the International Trade and Industry Ministry had promised that the government would provide facilitation and assistance for the third national car project.
“This could mean government soft loans and other regulatory measures that could hurt consumers’ interest,” he added.
Dr Wee has reminded the Pakatan Harapan government of its promise that the third national project will be a private project and will not involve any public funds.
He said the government must honour its promise that no public funds should be used for the third national car project.
Did you find this article insightful?