KUALA LUMPUR: DreamEdge Sdn Bhd, the anchor company to drive the third national car project, is aiming to unveil its first prototype in six months' time, says Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Hanipa Maidin.
"DreamEdge is expected to come out with its first prototype in March next year and followed with the launch of its first model a year later," he said in a written reply to a question raised by Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (BN-Ayer Hitam) in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday. (Oct 23).
He noted that the third national project was a private sector initiative relying fully on private funding. There is no involvement of public funds for this project.
"DreamEdge has informed that it is scrutinising proposals from the private sector and personal investments," Hanipa added.
When Dr Wee asked if duties on imported used cars would be increased to protect the national car project, Hanipa said the matter is currently under review.
"Car import duties fall under the National Car Policy, which is under review with an announcement to be made by the ministry this year," he said.
Dr Wee had previously questioned the company's capabilities in leading the project alongside Japanese auto company Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd.
The MCA president had also expressed concerns over government assurances that no public funds would be used for the project as it had a partial stake in DreamEdge.
The Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (Might), a government agency, was said to have a majority stake in the company.
Shortly after the Government announced the project, DreamEdge founder and chief executive officer Khairil Adri Adnan issued a statement saying that Might's wholly-owned VentureTech Sdn Bhd only owns 10% of DreamEdge.
This story has been edited to correctly reflect that it was Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Hanipa Maidin who gave the reply.