KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today expressed scepticism over the commercial use of Malaysia’s much-anticipated flying cars, pointing out several issues which may arise.
Cheekily pointing out “sky traffic” as a potential problem, Dr Mahathir pointed to Europe and the United States as examples of nations which already possess such technology, but have yet to utilise it.
“You see, a lot of people talk about flying cars. Just imagine if everybody owns a flying car. There will be a traffic jam up there, and the policemen will be flying also.
“It’s a little bit of a problem. Even in Europe and America, they have built the car, but using the car is another matter,” Dr Mahathir told the press, after launching the National Transport Plan 2019-2030 at KL Sentral here.
He was asked to comment on Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Redzuan Md Yusof’s reply in Parliament yesterday, on the safety regulation processes for the flying car plan.
Dr Mahathir today said that the safety regulation plan would also not be finalised anytime soon, despite Redzuan announcing a 2019 deadline for the flying car prototype.
Redzuan told Parliament that Malaysia’s flying car prototype is expected to be launched at the end of 2019.
The entrepreneur development minister did not give an exact date, but said the “air mobility” industry will continue to undergo further development when asked about the project during Question Time by Khairy Jamaluddin.
He added that the air mobility industry has the potential for expansion, listing new types of insurance, financial tech, artificial intelligence and the internet of things among others.
The minister also told Pakatan Harapan backbencher Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin that the vehicle can accommodate two to three passengers.
The Alor Gajah MP said Mas Ermieyati, who is Masjid Tanah MP, is welcome to ride with him during balik kampung trips.
Redzuan also said that the flying car can cut short travelling time.
As an example, he said travelling between Penang island and Kuala Lumpur will only take an hour by air compared to four hours on the road.
In August, Bernama reported Redzuan as saying that work to construct Malaysia’s first flying car is 85 per cent complete, and that it is currently being built by a Japan-based Malaysian company.