Deputy International Trade and Industry Dr Ong Kian Ming has denied that the government is building a flying car, calling Rembau Member of Parliament Khairy Jamaluddin ‘naughty’ for tweeting a screenshot of a draft copy of the upcoming National Automotive Policy.
"This is part of a presentation which the Ministry gave to the automotive industry as part of our stakeholder engagement in the Review of the National Automotive Policy," Dr. Ong told The Star during a press conference at the parliament lobby earlier today.
Dr. Ong said that the document was only a draft and was for discussion purposes only.
"In the disclaimer, it is clearly stated that the information contained herein is subject to change and does not commit the government of Malaysia," said Dr. Ong.
"The inclusion of a discussion on flying vehicles is to address the need for standards and regulations should there be a demand for application of such technology by the automotive industry in the future.
"Our ministry is committed to having consultations and discussions with important stakeholders on the review of the National Automotive Policy (NAP), which will focus on the entire automotive sector including the supply and value chains.
"It is unfortunate that the Rembau MP chose to highlight one small reference to a nascent technology for the purpose of standard setting in the discussion document rather than to give attention to a larger challenge at hand, which is how to develop and grow the entire automative landscape.
"We are always appreciative of any feedback to concrete suggestions from Khairy or anyone from the opposition bench," he said.
While the government has confirmed that it is not using public funds to develop the a flying vehicle, Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof is actively promoting the idea of a Malaysia-developed ‘flying car,’ which his ministry intends to achieve by encouraging participation of private companies.
As a side note, Dr. Ong’s reply also implied that the long awaited new National Automotive Policy (NAP), which been mentioned in public since the middle of last year, is still not ready. It was last announced that the new NAP will be made public within this quarter.