SEPANG: There is a remote possibility of the third national car using government funds because “some government agencies may want to have a piece of the cake”, says 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 department would like to have a piece of the cake too.
“It wasn't me who approved it (DreamEDGE), but it is already done, so I have nothing to say.
“Many government agencies when they see something about to take off, they think they should have a piece of the cake, ” said Dr Mahathir.
He was asked to comment on the allegation that despite the government's assurance that the car project would not use government funds, there were allegations that DreamEdge had remote government funding.
The third national car, also the first car from Malaysia’s new national automobile project, could debut in March 2021.
International Trade and Industry Minister Darrell Leiking recently announced that DreamEDGE Sdn Bhd had been chosen as the anchor company to develop the project.
The government had previously said that the project would not be using any taxpayer money.
On Aug 10, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said that the government should disclose how much of a stake it would have in the company behind the third national car.
He asked how much of a stake the government would have in the company once its shares had been converted to ordinary shares.
Dr Wee said 53% of DreamEDGE’s shares were owned by VentureTech Sdn Bhd, which in turn is owned by a government company.
This is despite Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s previous statement that the third national car project will not be financed with public funds.
DreamEDGE chief executive officer Khairil Adri Adnan then rebutted Dr Wee’s statement, saying that VentureTech only owned 10% of the company’s ordinary shares, with the rest of the stake being Redeemable Convertible Preference Shares (RCPS).