KUALA LUMPUR,— 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.

“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.

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. – MALAY MAIL

PAC orders audit on RM20m public funds channelled to flying car firm Aerodyne

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called for an audit on the RM20 million in public funds invested into Aerodyne Ventures Sdn Bhd, the private firm behind the flying car project.

This is to scrutinise if the funds had been used for the project.

Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof (above) previously told Parliament that no tax money would be involved in building the prototype of the flying car.

In its report on the flying car project published today, the PAC found that RM20 million had been channelled to Aerodyne through VentureTech Sdn Bhd.

VentureTech is a subsidiary of the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (Might), an entity under the Prime Minister’s Department.

“Although the minister (Redzuan) said the flying car project is a private initiative and would not use government funds for the project, the PAC found that Might, through VentureTech, had approved an RM20 million investment into Aerodyne.

“The Economic Affairs Ministry confirmed that the money was channelled from VentureTech to Aerodyne on Nov 1, 2019,” the report states.

According to the report, VentureTech’s 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.

The PAC recommended that VentureTech “closely monitors” that Aerodyne used the funds for its original purposes.

“The National Audit Department is asked to conduct an audit on the RM20 million government investment to ensure it is used for its original purposes and not for the flying car project,” it also said.

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

Cabinet unaware, no other ministry involved

Funding was one of the many concerns the PAC had about the project.

It noted that Redzuan’s public announcement about the flying car back in February was done without any prior presentations to the cabinet.

No detailed planning or due diligence on Aerodyne’s financial and technical capabilities was done before the project was publicly promoted, it also said.

Furthermore, the PAC found through its hearings with government officials that no other ministry or government agency was informed about the project, nor was asked to offer its input.

Also, it noted how Malaysia did not have any law to regulate air mobility and flying vehicles.

The PAC remarked how Redzuan had misrepresented the flying car project as a national initiative.

“Even though the minister promoted the project as a national project, the PAC found that the project is a private initiative…

“The minister said that Aerodyne would be using local technology but the PAC found that the prototype is being built in Japan as the country has the ecosystem and facilities needed to construct a flying car,” the report says.

The committee thus recommended that Redzuan’s ministry prepares a comprehensive cabinet paper about the project and present it during a cabinet meeting.

It also urged the ministry to work with other ministries and government entities in its programmes, especially high profile ones.

The PAC further recommended that detailed studies and due diligence be done before any initiative is announced to the public.

The bipartisan PAC is headed by Noraini Ahmad (Umno-Parit Sulong) and comprises 14 MPs on the government side including Wong Kah Woh (DAP-Ipoh Timur), Wong Chen (PKR-Subang), Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR-Permatang Pauh), Steven Choong (DAP-Tebrau), Wong Hon Wai (DAP-Bukit Bendera), Wong Shu Qi (DAP-Kluang), Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir (PKR-Johor Bahru), Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus (Amanah-Hulu Langat) and Muslimin Yahaya (Bersatu-Sungai Besar).

Opposition MPs on the committee are Ahmad Hamzah (Umno-Jasin), Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Bahru), Ismail Mohamad Said (Umno-Kuala Krau) and Robert Lawson Chuat (GPS-Betong).

Dewan Rakyat secretary Roosme Hamzah is the PAC secretary.  – MKINI