KUALA LUMPUR: Development of the "flying-car" has taken a back seat following the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry’s decision to shift focus on developing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-businesses, says the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
"The PAC was informed that the development of the flying car is not a main priority at the moment as the ministry is giving focus on developing SMEs and micro-businesses," PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said in a statement on Thursday (Dec 3).
He said PAC had tabled its report to Parliament on the development of the project codenamed "Air-Mobility" on Nov 28 last year.
"The shift in priority was explained by ministry secretary-general Datuk Suriani Ahmad when she presented a follow-up action report to the PAC on Nov 28 this year," he said.
Wong also said the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry secretary-general Datuk Siti Hasimah Tapsir had also briefed the PAC on the project.
He said the PAC was satisfied with the explanations given by both ministries, including that Venture Tech Sdn Bhd was monitoring its RM20mil investment, which is not being used for the project.
Venture Tech is a government subsidiary under the Malaysian Industry-Government for High Technology.
Wong said based on an investment agreement with Venture Tech, the RM20mil by the company cannot be used for the development of the "flying car".
He also said that PAC was satisfied with the Auditor-General's explanations over its audit on Venture Tech, which showed that the company had not used the RM20mil to invest in the project.
Earlier, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the project would be undertaken by the private sector as the government’s priority was to help entrepreneurs ride out the economic fallout due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also said the “flying car” was a generic term and that the right context and correct term would be “air mobility” or “urban mobility” project.
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