The government today announced that it would be channelling funds into research and development (R&D) for the third national car project envisioned by the prime minister.
Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof (above) said the allocation would be derived from an R&D grant approved by the government.
This, he reportedly said, would be a "large sum" to be announced by prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"Let the prime minister reveal the grant.
"It (the sum) is large and enough to become the catalyst to attract the participation of private companies for a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that we will form as the starting model to stimulate the third national car project," he was quoted saying by Berita Harian today.
The minister added that to date, the private sector has shown a keen interest in the new car project.
Mohd Redzuan's statement comes despite assurance by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng that the third national car project would not utilise public nor government funds.
Lim, however, stated earlier this month that while the government had yet to decide on investing in the project, the government had no problems in providing allocations for it to carry out R&D.
Lim had said: "To date, the government has no such allocation (to invest in building a third national car) under Budget 2019 except for R&D. What is wrong in us carrying out R&D if it can be used by Proton or DRB-Hicom […] not necessarily for the third national car."
Proposals come in
The project, first mooted by Mahathir in June and set to launch by 2020, has met with criticism from several quarters including from members of his own ruling coalition who feel that the project is too ambitious.
However, Putrajaya assured that the project would only entail private-sector involvement.
Mahathir mooted the idea as his initial brainchild Proton could no longer be considered a national car after 49.9 percent of its stake was sold to China's Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group.
To date, it has been reported that the government has received up to 21 proposals from local and foreign firms for the third national car project.
Meanwhile, the Malacca government has offered for the third national car to be produced in the state as it had the necessary facilities needed for such a project.
Unrestrained power in your hands
For almost 20 years, Malaysiakini has stayed true to the cause of providing the Malaysian public with the truth. We believe that with unadulterated information, the people will obtain power to make informed decisions.
Decisions which lead to a healthy, robust nation - ours!
Keep the truth alive. Support your robust, independent media. You have the unrestrained power to do so.
Who says it's not our fault?
We aren’t trained to take responsibility.
Everytime we observe an injustice - and choose to keep mum - the prevalence of injustice becomes our fault.
Astute journalism paves the way for the public to be continuously furnished with the fastidious truth. You are continuously empowered to act and to uphold the integrity of the nation.
The Rakyat owns Malaysiakini
We choose to take a risk on independent media because we believe that only through independent reporting can one be NOT beholden to the interest of businesses or organisations. This allows us to really pursue the truth - aggressively.
Independent for 20 years.
The victorious people
In the light of holding the truth to power, Malaysiakini will continue to uphold its mission of providing credible news to its discerning public. Your support for Malaysiakini is always treasured as a testament of innate nationalism. Your victory is our history.
Quietly. Effectively. Says it all. Malaysiakini.
Speaking truth to power
When we embarked on this journey 20 years ago, we knew we would face intimidation, harassment, raids, arrests and perhaps even jail terms. We got into this venture with our eyes wide open.
The main reason we have survived this long - when many others have folded - is partly because we are prudent in our finances. But while we may be tightfisted in our budgeting, we do not hold back when it comes to speaking truth to power and holding power to account. And certainly, this new administration will not stop us from continuing to do so.