A suggestion has been made for Cyberjaya to be revived as the testbed for new inventions, which will include flying cars, the New Straits Times reports. This will provide the necessary space for any field tests and evaluation, according to entrepreneur development minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof.

“If there is anyone who wants to invent flying cars, I now have space for them to conduct tests,” he told the publication. Mohd Redzuan said the idea was first mooted with the national development council and received support from prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Dr Mahathir said ‘go ahead but who will use it?’ and I said I will fly it myself. I then jokingly said I would not fly it more than 10 to 15 feet above the ground so that even if I fall, I won’t die. And the next day, I spoke about flying cars, which people made jokes about,” he said.

When the subject was first broached, many Malaysians made fun of the ‘flying car‘ project on social media, with many expressing scepticism about the whole affair. Mohd Redzuan had responded to the criticism then by saying that Malaysians can either progress or choose to stay behind the times, and reiterated that point again, albeit indirectly.

“When I went to Japan last year, I asked one of their ministers on what they will showcase during the Osaka World Expo 2025 and they said they are creating a man-made island to showcase their technology. He said one of the highlights is to showcase Internet of Things, not about research but about commercialisation,” he said.

“One of them is (the) flying taxi where I foresee they will fly people from the Osaka Airport to the man-made island by ferrying people using the flying taxi. You see, when we are still debating flying cars or making jokes about it, other countries have already moved towards the future,” he stated.

Asked on the update of the ‘flying car’ prototype, he said it the project was at 75% completion, but images of the vehicle still could not be disclosed to the public at this point because his ministry was respecting the wishes of the Japanese company partnering the project, which is actually coming up with an air mobility vehicle (AMV). The Vector, as the vehicle is known as, is currently being developed by Aerodyne Group in collaboration with a Japanese partner with a technology-sharing approach to better manage costs.