R&D, latest technologies to drive new Malaysian Vehicle Project, says Dr M

Dr Mahathir Mohamad, flanked by International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking (left) and deputy minister Ong Kian Ming, at the launching of the National Automotive Policy today. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will implement the new Malaysian Vehicle Project, emphasising research and development (R&D) and incorporating the latest technologies, under the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2020, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

He said such emphasis would enable Malaysia to be competitive in both the domestic and global markets.

New technology clusters as well as new expert workforce, especially in the field of automotive engineering, would be developed consequently, the prime minister said when launching NAP 2020 here today.

Also present were International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking and his deputy, Ong Kian Ming.

Mahathir said the new Malaysian Vehicle Project, which would continue the country’s efforts of developing two national cars and a motorcycle before this, would contribute significantly to the nation’s economic development through its support for both the upstream and downstream industries.

The project, he said, would create a demand for other related materials, such as high-grade steel, plastics, rubber and petrochemical products, and stimulate further growth in the sub-sectors.

Mahathir said NAP 2020 would support green technology, including the development of standards for testing and research to support the increase in blending of palm oil biodiesel.

“All the emphasis under NAP 2020 is our commitment to the industry that we, too, are moving in the same direction with other major countries in keeping up with global trends, be it technologically or environmentally,” he said.

He also said the automotive sector was not limited to car-making as it opened the door to boundless engineering possibilities that could complement other economic sectors.

This was well illustrated by automotive-producing nations where the development of vendors for parts and components production had created a large number of jobs and skilled workforce.