Contradicting minister, PAC says public funds used for ‘flying car’

The PAC said Redzuan did not perform any due diligence on Aerodyne Venture Sdn Bhd, the firm behind the 'flying car' project. — Picture by Hari Anggara
The PAC said Redzuan did not perform any due diligence on Aerodyne Venture Sdn Bhd, the firm behind the 'flying car' project. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 — Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is disputing Datuk Mohd Redzuan Yusof’s claim that no public funds were used for the so-called “flying car” project that it also said he announced prematurely.

In a report today, the committee chaired by Parit Sulong MP Datuk Noraini Ahmad said its inquiry determined that the entrepreneur development minister announced the matter before notifying the Cabinet or relevant agencies.

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

“The PAC have found that the International Trade and Industries Ministry (Miti) and the Malaysian Industry Group for High Technology (MIGHT) were not referred at all on the direction of Malaysia’s air mobility, especially the ‘flying car’,” said the report.

It added 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.

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.

The committee also called for VTSB to monitor the RM20 million given to AVSB to ensure that the money is spent responsibly on the “flying car” project.

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