PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysians have responded cheekily to the unveiling of a scale model of a flying vehicle at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace 2019 (Lima'19) exhibition.
Known as the Vector, the vehicle's debut has been stealing the limelight at this year's edition, as many participants were eager to see it.
Most of them thought the Vector was the much talked about "flying car", but it is nowhere near that.
In fact, Aerodyne senior group business development and consulting director Imtyaz Mohd Azzat refuted the idea that the company was developing a flying car because the Vector, to be exact, was designed to be a "point-to-point air transportation system".
On The Star Online's Facebook page, Malaysians were quick to say they were not fans of the Vector, but they also had a bit of fun expressing themselves. Many playfully asked if the model was made from the famous KDK fans.
"It looks like the stand fan in my house. It can be bought at Giant Supermarket for RM69 (S$22.95)," said Facebook user Lee Sii Wong.
User Sam Chuah chimed in with, "Looks like they installed it with four units of National standing fans. Awesome!"
Some users also criticised the lack of innovation in the project, saying that it was not a brand new idea and that it had been done before.
"It is merely a drone. Nowadays, there are plenty of drones that can carry up to 500kg of load. We were misled to believe that it is a vehicle," said Mr Daniel Wang.
Malaysian Chinese Association president Wee Ka Siong asked if the Vector was the prototype model of Malaysia's invention of the flying car meant by the Entrepreneur Development Minister Redzuan Yusof.
"How much was the cost to develop the prototype model? Is it true that it is almost RM1 million? Please compare Malaysia's prototype model with that of the developed countries, which is ready to be marketed. Such a huge difference."
An exasperated Redzuan, the minister, said Malaysians who dissed the “flying car” can choose to stay behind the times and take a ride on “bamboo cars”.
“Well, they can choose whether they are going to stay behind. People call this a state of denial, whereby they can choose to stay behind, " Redzuan told reporters at Parliament lobby on Thursday (March 28).
“It’s okay to stay under bamboos. (If they) want to ride ‘bamboo cars’, that’s okay too."
Asked when the vehicle was expected to cruise the skies, Aerodyne's Imtyaz said the Vector prototype was slated to be ready to fly as early as June.
He also said that his four-year-old company, with experience in drone technology, had yet to determine the price of the Vector, should the vehicle be ready to enter the market soon.
On government support, Mr Imtyaz said he was grateful that the Entrepreneur Development Ministry had been supportive so far by helping the company develop the ecosystem that would make this idea work.
"Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also pleased with this idea when he visited our booth (at Lima'19)," he said.