No-one is trying to put the brakes on this technological marvel, or derail the future aspirations of a budding scientist, engineer, or entrepreneur, but shouldn’t the country prioritise its needs?
The Entrepreneur Development Minister, Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof, said that Malaysia’s first flying car, using local technology, will be unveiled to the public, later this year. This is highly commendable, or is it?
In truth, the flying car is a vanity project, which benefits a few rich people. Or is it a “syok sendiri” project, much like a self-aggrandizing exercise?
Some years ago, the Malaysian government sent an astronaut into space. Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al-Masrie bin Sheikh Mustapha. We almost had a roti canai tossing experiment in space.
Fortunately, it was cancelled. The Russians would not be too happy with greasy roti canai dough landing on their delicate instruments.
Dr Sheikh finally performed some experiments on liver cells, but he also produced a guideline on praying in a low gravity environment, how to locate Mecca from the International Space Station, how to calculate the prayer times and how to address the issues of fasting in space.
Malaysians groaned with scepticism and ridicule, because they were not convinced of the relevance of these projects, to their daily lives
Mohd Redzuan should be aware that we are saddled with numerous problems on our roads and the fluctuating price of fuel. We have issues with tolls, Proton and bad drivers. The East Malaysians do not have a fully functioning and efficient road system.
To cross the road, look left, right and above your head
Previously, we would have to look left and right, before making sure it was safe to cross the road. Are we now to look up and check that a flying car is not heading towards us?
Kopi-o-lesen now includes pilots
A significant percentage of the population drive their vehicles without a licence. Nor do they have car insurance. Even luxury car owners flout the rules. So, how will we enforce the same, for flying cars? Can the Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ – Road Transport Department) cope or will they have to form a flying squad too?
Mat Rempits and Mat Burungs
Our roads are congested, will our air spaces end-up congested too? We have enough problems with Mat Rempits terrorising road users. The prospect of “Mat Burungs” in their modified flying cars, racing in the skies above us, fills us with the dread, that if they crash, bits of metal and body parts, will smash into our balconies or roofs.
Enforcing noise pollution and noxious gas emissions
We are trying to cut down on pollution and noise levels, so will the relevant ministries be up to the job of enforcing safe emission standards? We can’t even locate, and prosecute the industries which discharge effluents into our rivers, so how are we going to find the errant flying car owner?
Will the flying squad of PDRM or Department of civil aviation police the Mat Burungs?
Malaysian drivers are amongst the worst in the world. Will the pilots of flying cars be better policed? Will we experience cars dropping out of the sky at an alarming rate? Who will enforce air safety? The flying squad of the PDRM? The Department of civil aviation? Will air traffic control costs increase, because of the heavy traffic in our air space? Will flying car air zones be established in cities, to stop pilots from violating air space and also to keep the rakyat safe?
Battery cell techonology or aviation fuel?
What is the technology used for the flying cars? Batteries? Aviation fuel? If it is aviation fuel, where will the fuel stations be located? Will they be found only in major cities? In which case, one might as well have driven the car.
Where will landing strips be located? Will local authorities be able to incorporate these into the city plans? Or does the flying car roll up to an airport?
Security issues.Will voyeurs take to their flying cars to snoop on us on the upper levels of skyscrapers?
Many British airports were recently forced to stop aeroplanes from landing and taking off, because drones had been spotted in their airspace. Similarly, the security issues associated with flying cars will have to be addressed. No-fly zones will have to be established. Flight plans for flying cars will have to be lodged.
Other issues will have to be addressed, like cost (of the flying car, of the journey, of maintenance), convenience, operational aspects and viability.
(Update: On 2 March, the minister, Mohd Redzuan, clarified that the car is not for sale to the general public.)
Flying car has crash landed even before taking off
The minister, Mohd Redzuan, may not agree, but his flying car project has crashed even before it has been unveiled.
There are more important and pressing priorities, on which the technical expertise, money and time, should be spent, especially as this government has claimed that public spending must be curbed.
One social cynic said, “I am more likely to see a herd of pigs flying overhead, than of being able to afford a flying car.”
(Only the super rich, meaning Umno-Baru and their spoilt brats can afford, so can you imagine the son of a former minister, who was given a Hummer, behind the wheels of a flying car?
Another former delinquent is the son of a former Perak MB, a terror on the roads, and it is alleged, even the police were weary of having to caution him, for racing with the Mat Rempits.
Or the other son of a former Chief Minister in Sarawak.)