KUALA LUMPUR – January 8, 2019: The news that the government is giving RM20 million for the third national car project has not been well received.
One person who is not in favour is auto analyst Hezeri Shamsuri, who said that despite the amount being negligible for such a project, the public should worry as the government may likely pour more of public funds into the project if it fails to attract investors.
According to him, RM20 million in the automotive industry is usually just the amount allocated by a vehicle manufacturer for minor facelifts, such as developing a new headlight or grills.
“To create a proper vehicle from the ground up, it would be much, much more than that. We’re talking hundreds of millions.
“As for RM20 million to create a prototype, that is not possible unless other investors chip in, or if they already have a ready platform and plan to only create a simple prototype,” he pointed out.
Hazeri was also skeptical with the statement by Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd. Redzuan Yusof that the RM20 million will only be used to facilitate the new national car project instead of developing it.
“What kind of facilitating is he talking about? It’s better if he uses the money to create more charging facilities for electric vehicles and we have no idea what kind of a car the third national car will be,” he said.
Public sentiment on the project is also getting dire since the news of the allocation as most comments at Facebook and Twitter lamented how the government should make better use the money to improve public transportation.
Richard Chin wrote at Facebook that the government was getting its priorities wrong.
“They should fill up our nation reserve and not emptying it to satisfy someone’s ego,” he quipped.
Others, such as such as Abdul Rasyid and Fariz expressed their disappointment especially since the government had previously cancelled the MRT 3 project.
“Billions cut in MRT 2 allocation, shelving of MRT 3, for this? But it’s okay, if the third national car project goes down the drain, they can play the usual previous government mistake get away for free card,” wrote Fariz sarcastically.