PAC Claims Minister Jumped the Gun on “Flying Car”

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The Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) claims that Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Mohd Redzuan Yusof announced the “flying car” project prematurely.

Minister taken to task for:

  • Announcing project without informing Cabinet
  • Promoting it as if it was a national project when it is actually a private initiative
  • Not consulting relevant agencies over project
  • Not performing due diligence on AVSB, the company developing the flying car
  • Insisting no public funds used for the project, but AVSB was given RM20 million
  • Claiming AVSB was using local technology, although the prototype will be constructed in Japan

The committee chaired by Parit Sulong MP Datuk Noraini Ahmad said its inquiry determined that Redzuan announced the matter before notifying the Cabinet or relevant agencies.

“The announcement was made too early and without even informing the cabinet,” said the report, which was released today.

“Even though the minister promoted the project as if it was a national project, the PAC found that it is actually a private initiative,” said the report.

It also found that neither the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) nor Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (Might) were consulted over the project.

The PAC added that there are no existing laws and regulations related to the use of flying cars in Malaysia.

It revealed that Redzuan, who has been promoting the vehicle and the company behind its development – Aerodyne Venture Sdn Bhd (AVSB) – since February this year, did not perform any due diligence on the firm.

The committee said no assessment was made of AVSB’s finances, intellectual property rights, expertise and its capacity to develop the “flying car”.

The PAC also challenged Redzuan’s statement that AVSB did not receive a single sen from the government and that the prototype was locally designed.

It insisted that public funds were used as there was involvement from Might.

“Even though the Entrepreneur Development Minister had stated the ‘flying car’ project is a private initiative and did not use government funding in the ‘flying car’ project, the PAC found that Might through VentureTech Sdn Bhd (VTSB) had approved an investment in AVSB worth RM20 million.

“The Economic Affairs Ministry has confirmed that the fund was channelled from VTSB to AVSB on November 1, 2019.

“The minister had stated that AVSB was using local technology, but PAC found that the prototype will be constructed in Japan since Japan has the ecosystem and infrastructure to develop the ‘flying car’,” said the report.

VTSB is a subsidiary of Might, an entity under the Prime Minister’s Department.

According to the report, VTSB board of directors had approved the RM20 million investment to develop a data processing centre in Cyberjaya; research and development; as well as “other capital expenditures” that included the purchase of drones.

In its hearings for the report, Might CEO Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman told the PAC that the RM20 million investment into Aerodyne was not for the flying car project.

To scrutinise if the funds had been used for the “flying car” project, the committee called for an audit on the RM20 million given to AVSB.

The PAC also advised the government to study a project first before making a public announcement to avoid negative perception that could turn into criticism from every level of society.

It also added that a complete “flying car” must be available before anything is tabled to the Cabinet for approval as this was of public and national interest.

It then advised Redzuan to consult and collaborate with the relevant ministries, departments and agencies before making any public announcements on any projects.

He was also told to perform due diligence before embarking on similar projects.