KOTA TINGGI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian mechanic Azamrudin Shawal had always wanted to rev up interest in the Felda settlement that he proudly calls home. So he built a "Formula One" racing car prototype based on a miniature toy car.
The 34-year-old said he built the prototype with the help of his younger brother Mohd Airi three years ago just to draw attention to their Felda Sening settlement.
It took the brothers, who have been helping to repair vehicles in their father's workshop from an early age, just 56 hours to assemble the vehicle using spare parts from old cars and scrap metal. And it costs just RM2,200 (S$722).
However, much to their dismay, their effort was not given due recognition despite relentlessly highlighting their invention to local leaders since 2012.
The 2m-long racing car has been used in several parades and special events in the settlement, including a wedding ceremony.
"All I want is to help the community get noticed and possibly raise some funds to carry out activities for the younger generation," said Mr Azamrudin.
"I thought hard about how a small-town boy like me can get recognised by the government and decided to create this prototype, something people would have thought impossible," he told The Star.
So single-minded is Mr Azamrudin in his quest to help the community that he has even outlined a plan to develop a recreational park that includes chalets, designated areas for farming as well as a buggy track.
"This Felda has a lot of potential for growth, especially in agro-tourism that can attract more visitors and boost the economy here besides creating more job opportunities.
"Sadly, we have been neglected and our capabilities sidelined,'' he said.
"It is my hope that by building this racing car, it will open up the eyes of those in power and give the second generation here a chance to prove ourselves."
Mr Azamrudin lamented that despite his best efforts to promote his invention to the local leaders, none of them seemed interested in taking it to the next level.
"I was also hoping to work with petroleum companies such as Shell or Petronas to clone my creation," he said, adding that he planned to patent the prototype by next month.
A video of his racing car prototype, which was posted on Media Kota Facebook page, has since gone viral, garnering over 100,000 views and thousands of likes.