Minister: ‘Flying car’ project still on, but priority now is helping SMEs

PETALING JAYA: The “flying car” project by the private sector is still on but the government's current priority is to help entrepreneurs ride out the Covid-19 pandemic, says Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister also clarified that “flying car” was a generic term, and that the right context and correct term would be “air mobility”.

He said the ministry was now giving special attention to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), micro enterprises and cooperatives to help them tackle issues during and after Covid-19 and to achieve

the objectives of the National Entrepreneurship Policy (DKN) 2030.

"The air mobility or urban mobility project can open up new fields of entrepreneurship that can be commercialised but the priority of the ministry at this time is to implement programmes and initiatives in the DKN 2030.

“We only have 10 years to achieve the objectives, and this is very important because the effects of Covid-19 towards our entrepreneurs would require government resources and expertise to handle, ”

he said during Oral Question Time in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Aug 5).

Wan Junaidi, who is also Santubong MP, reiterated that the air mobility project was a completely private initiative that did not involve public funds.

"The ministry only acts as a facilitator for the development of local SMEs in the industry focusing on drone and super drone services," he said.

He was answering a question by Datuk Dr Mohd Hatta Md Ramli (Amanah-Lumut) on the latest development of the flying car project.

Mohd Hatta wanted to know if the project mooted under the previous Pakatan Harapan administration would continue under the ministry.

Wan Junaidi added that his ministry and the International Trade and Industry Ministry had provided facilities for high-tech initiatives but admitted that Malaysia still lacked expertise in developing urban mobility.

“We also still do not have any specific guidelines or policies as well as laws on this, ” he said.

He, however, added that in the future, the two ministries, as well as the Transport Ministry, could come up with specific guidelines, policies and direction to develop the air mobility project.

“Things like drone technology, the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) are still being given special attention by the government, ” he said.

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