KJ surprised by Putrajaya’s focus on flying vehicle tech


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019

PETALING JAYA: Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) was caught by surprise to find “flying vehicle” listed among the key points of the National Automotive Policy (NAP) review.

The shadow Finance Minister shared a picture of the report, circling the area of concern with bright purple, on his official Twitter account on Tuesday (March 26) evening, tagging Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming in a succinct tweet: “Seriously, YB @imokman?”

At time of writing, Ong had yet to respond to the tweet.

In the meantime, others were quick to share their opinions with Khairy.

Tweeter @BroJinggo said he did not know whether to laugh or cry, while @sckhoo wondered: “What’s wrong with setting guidelines?’

Tweeter @ashvinmenon told both politicians that a working flying car was recently debuted at the Geneva car show: "Obviously far away from being a mass-market vehicle, but hey, no harm talking about it. For once, we can try being AHEAD of the legislative curve.”

Of course, there was a reference to a beloved 1980s trilogy, courtesy of @amirulbahri: “What are u guys going on about. We’re way behind schedule. Tak tgk Back to the Future ke (Didn’t you watch Back to the Future)??”

In a separate Twitter post, Khairy also shared the written reply from the Prime Minister’s Department to his query regarding the third national car.

“RM8mil has been channelled for prototype development,” he said in the accompanying caption.

RM20mil was allocated for the third national car project, which is now being handled by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), under the Prime Minister's Department.

On Feb 26, Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Redzuan Md Yusof had said Malaysia's first flying car is expected to be unveiled this year.

Following misconceptions that the two are related projects, Ong had previously clarified that, as far as he knows, the third national car will not be a flying car.

Though most Malaysians have greeted the news of the former with incredulity, flying cars appear to be close to becoming a reality in the rest of the world.

It was reported in 2018 that popular ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc had partnered with NASA, supplying information to the agency so that it could simulate the flight of a small passenger-carrying aircraft.

Also reported last year, Uber announced that it would open an "Advanced Technologies Center" in Paris, which would become a development hub for its flying car project - Uber Elevate.