Many things have happened during the past 7 months but what is to become of the heavily publicised “flying car” project that was mooted by the previous government? It hasn’t been scrapped, instead, it will be put on a back burner as the government focus on helping small and medium enterprises (SME) recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The announcement was made by the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, at the Dewan Rakyat during Oral Question Time.
Wan Junaidi also clarified that the term “flying car” is just generic term and that the right context and correct term would be “air mobility”.
The reason why the government has not scraped the air mobility project was that they see the project as a means to drive the SME businesses in future once it is officially launched.
But for now, the government is giving special attention to SMEs, micro-enterprises and cooperatives to achieve the objectives of the National Entrepreneurship Policy (DKN) 2030. A difficult task considering the country had come to a standstill during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“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.”
Wan Junaidi further added that the air mobility project is a completely private initiative clarifying that the project does 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.
While the International Trade and Industry Ministry has provided the facilities for high-tech initiatives, Wan Junaidi also 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.”
However, the two ministries along with the Transport Ministry are said to have plans to work together to come up with specific guidelines, policies and direction to develop the 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.