Yesterday, news surfaced about funding being approved for the new national car prototype, but entrepreneur development minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof has since clarified that only part of the RM20 million allocation of funds will go to the development of the prototype, and that the figure is the existing allocation for the ministry’s research and development, Bernama reports.

“The ministry is estimated to have RM20 million in R&D funds, and we are not using all of this fund to produce the prototype as we admit the cost to develop the prototype is much lower than that,” Redzuan said in response to criticism of the use of government funds for the new national car project (NNCP).

Critics of the third national car project did not understand the implicit benefits behind the idea, Redzuan said, noting that the development programme could be the catalyst to many automotive entrepreneurs as well as those involved in the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, software and 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.

The NNCP will need the participation of the private sector as the government will not inject funds into the project, though it can benefit from R&D funds allocation from the government. The new national car has been slated for release in 2020, while while an early prototype is expected to surface sometime this year.