KUALA LUMPUR: Entrepreneur Development Ministry has denied that RM20 million allocated by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) was for the super drone/air mobility project or "flying car” project developed by Aerodyne Group.
It said rather, the allocation was to fund the innovation, research and development of the new national car project (NNCP), with DreamEDGE Sdn Bhd chosen as its anchor company and MIGHT leading it.
It said the selection was based on the company's expertise in research and development (R&D) and technology development capabilities involving new automotive-related technology.
The objective of the NNCP is to develop new technologies that saves energy and use of hybrid system that the company has the expertise to implement, it explained.
“The fund also has nothing to do with development drone and airplane/super drone (air mobility) project developed by the Aerodyne company.
“The Ministry does not have the resources and authority to approve funds for investment purposes in any drone project as stated in a press statement," it explained.
The Ministry said that on March 5, this year, it visited the Aerodyne company to see for itself the development of the drone projects derived from Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics,
Turnkey Application undertaken through the expertise of Malaysians.
“Today, the Aerodyne company is ranked third in the world according to the Drone Industry Insights report”.
In addition to the growth of the drone industry, the company has presented proposed development of air mobility vehicles functions such as vertical take off, powered by electricity and interchangeable payload.
"Development of this air mobility vehicle will apply the company-developed system," the Ministry said.
It said between March 25-29, Aerodyne had presented the Vector air mobility vehicle in the form of a scale model at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA).
It added that the National Development Council on Dec 20, last year identified Cyberjaya as a test-bed platform for testing new technologies and innovations including autonomous, drones and air mobility vehicles.
This test-bed platform will ensure the ecosystem which is conducive to the development of air mobility vehicles in Malaysia, it said.
In line with this the Ministry said it had arranged for discussion direction and requirements of the Air Mobility industry with the Authority Civil Aviation (CAAM), Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (JUPEM) and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
In addition, it said the Transport Ministry also held a free administrative session on Sept 5, with the implementing agency to formulate policies, licences and guidelines to ensure the smooth development of the ecosystem of the air mobility industry.
“The project will be led by the private sector and fully-funded by a local company.
“This project does not involve any provisions from the government and therefore, they are not brought to the MPN level or the Cabinet meeting because it does not require any government decision.
“The ministry is simply playing the role of a facilitator in the development of industrial ecosystems especially in the aspects industry support and capacity of local companies for
develop this industry.
“This project is led by the private sector and is fully funded by Aerodyne Group, a company
“Apart from the Aerodyne Group, the Ministry is also involved collaborating with other companies in the same sector’, it said.
In view of this, the Ministry said there was no need to conduct a financial and intellectual property audit on Aerodyne as it was not a government venture.
“The project does not involve any allocation from the ministry and the ministry will not suffer any losses if the project fails to take off”.
It said they are aware of the Dewan rakyat’s Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) findings and suggestions with regards to the air mobility project.
stry is in the midst of preparing comprehensive feedback on the matter. The information provided by the ministry is based on what (information) the ministry has.
“Information on action by the other agencies will be reviewed by the ministry,” the statement read.
The PAC had said that Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof had made a premature announcement on the project.
The report said PAC also found that MIGHT, through Venture Tech Sdn Bhd (VTSB), had approved an investment in Aerodyne to the tune of RM20 million that was channeled on Nov 1.
The PAC also called for the Auditor-General's Department to do an audit on the RM20-million investment.