Dr Mahathir denies involvement over 3rd national car project


THE appointment of DreamEDGE Sdn Bhd as the “anchor company” for the new national car project was not approved by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Instead, Dr Mahathir said every government department would probably want “a share of the pie” over any potential project in the country.

“It wasn’t me who approved it…but it is already done. So, I have nothing to say.

“A lot of government agencies, when they see something about to take off, they think they should have a slice of the pie,” he told reporters after attending the Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s 21st anniversary celebration in Sepang, Selangor, yesterday.

Last week, International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking named DreamEDGE as the third national project leader, while Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd would provide advanced technological support.

Subsequently, MCA president Wee Ka Siong claimed that Darell and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had lied over the government’s involvement in the project, saying that DreamEDGE was partially owned by VentureTECH Sdn Bhd — the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology’s full subsidiary.

However, DreamEDGE CEO Khairil Adri Adnan had rubbished the claim, saying that he is the company’s major shareholder, while VentureTECH only makes 10% of the total shares since 2017.

He said DreamEDGE, as the potential investee company, went through the proper due diligence process and passed all the criteria required set by VentureTECH, as the investor back in 2016.

He added that DreamEDGE has secured the funding from a private investor for the development of the new national car, as well as the technology to introduce its first model in March 2021.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir defended the need for a third national car, saying the automobile industry was dynamic.

“The industry is not doing so well at the moment…and we are doing away from oil-based (internal combustion) engine to hybrid and, later, electric.

“We have to make progress. This third car (project) should at least have the capability of hybridisation. It should be driven by battery, but an engine must be installed in order to recharge the battery and take the car by a thousand miles.

“We are moving towards that direction,” he said.

Dr Mahathir added that the idea of having the third national car project was to stimulate the engineering industry.