21 proposals for 3rd national car project so far

Labour productivity has risen by 3.5%, while the employment rate increases by 1.5%

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

INTEREST on the proposed development of a third national car has mounted with the government receiving 21 proposals from local and international, as well as joint-venture companies interested to be part of the project.

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming (picture) said seven new submissions were received within a week on top of the 14 proposals announced at the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 17.

“At present, we have 21 proposals for the national car project. I think Malaysians should not worry on the recent development of the project.

“The project is part of the larger vision, which is to review the National Automotive Policy. While we are going ahead with the project, we are also focusing on the entire ecosystem,” he said at the Business Excellence CEO Forum 2018 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Ong, however, declined to divulge details of the proposals and contenders for the making of Malaysia’s third national car.

He said it is too early to reveal more about the project and the companies involved.

Last week, Ong told the Dewan Rakyat that his ministry had received 14 proposals from the private sector for the project mooted by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Commenting on the recent announcement by British technology company Dyson Ltd to establish its electric car manufacturing plant in Singapore, Ong said it will not affect Malaysia’s national car project and its sales.

“We are not losing entirely over (Dyson’s) decision to set up its plant in Singapore as there are still opportunities in the value chain.

“They chose Singapore because of the country’s strategic location in the global supply chain. Knowing how (Dyson) worked in the past, Johor will be an important part of its new establishment in Singapore,” he said.

Ong added that the company, which had set up one of its vacuum cleaner manufacturing facilities in Singapore, has benefitted from the supply chain business in Johor.

“Dyson is currently manufacturing the motors for its vacuum cleaner in Singapore. However, the assembly takes place in Malaysia, while some of the components are also being produced in Malaysia.

“It also has a design centre in Johor and as a result to Dyson’s contract of manufacturing activities here, three Malaysian companies have been listed in the stock market,” he said.

Dr Mahathir reaffirmed his vision of building the third national car project during his maiden visit abroad after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th General Election in May.

Meanwhile, Ong said in his speech that the country’s labour productivity has risen by 3.5%, while the employment rate increased by 1.5%.

“This trend needs to be sustained and more rigorous efforts are needed to propel the productivity growth.

“Moving forward, the initiatives focusing on the competitiveness of Malaysia’s exports, fostering regional integration and adoption of new technologies are essential prerequisites in preparing for the future.”