Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof today said only part of his ministry's RM20 million research and development fund will be used to develop the third national car prototype.
He said the ministry, like other ministries, has grants for R&D, and he had brought forth his views to the cabinet to utilise this fund to create the national car prototype.
Speaking at a press conference after the pre-launch of the Malaysia Halal Expo 2019 in Cyberjaya today, Redzuan also said the cost to build the national car prototype, which will be developed by a vendor to be identified later, would be even lower.
"The ministry is estimated to have RM20 million in R&D funds, and we are not using all of this to produce the prototype, as we admit the cost to develop the prototype is much lower than that," he said in response to views by certain quarters who disputed the ministry’s move to use government funds to develop the national car project.
Yesterday, Redzuan had reportedly said his ministry had approved close to RM20 million of funds to attract private investors to develop the prototype for the third national car.
Redzuan, meanwhile, said critics of the third national car project did not understand the implicit benefits behind the idea.
The development of the national car could be the catalyst to many automotive entrepreneurs and those involved in the Internet of Things, robotics, software, as well as aerospace which would also enjoy the economic opportunities.
"When talking about the automobile industry, it will involve a lot of other engineering activities, because car manufacturing needs a lot of expertise and that’s why we must create a model or prototype which, of course, needs funding," he said.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng reportedly said earlier that the government has not made any decision to invest in the third national car project, but stressed that it has no problem in providing allocations to carry out R&D.