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Friday, 13 January 2017

(The Star) ‘Seeking foreign investments is not something new’

PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Muh­yiddin Yassin continues to draw flak for his claim that investments from China will rob locals of their rice bowl.
Business organisations strongly disputed the statement by the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president.
“Seeking investments from other countries is not something new.
“If there are concerns on such investments, then we should have clear guidelines to ensure a win-win situation for Malaysian businesses and Chinese investors,” said Malaysia-China Friendship Asso­ciation (PPMC) president Datuk Abdul Majid Khan.
He said any concerns could be easily addressed by setting down clear guidelines with regard to Chinese investments here.
Abdul Majid, who also sits on the Malaysia-China Business Council, said investments from China would bring development in seve­ral sectors here.
“They are coming here in areas of development of ports, railways and transportation which are much needed,” he added.
During an interview with Sin Chew Daily, Muhyiddin claimed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s invitation to mainland Chinese investors was a source of unhappiness among locals.
Media interview Datuk Ter Leong Yap and Datuk Seri Syed Hussien Al Habshee of National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM). RAYMOND OOI/ The Star.
Associated Chinese Cham­bers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) president Datuk Ter Leong Yap (pic) said it was wrong to regard Chinese investments as a one-way street.
“China has proven itself to be a good partner in the way it takes the initiative to develop mutually beneficial projects in many regional economies.
“Some Malaysian companies are even working with Chinese investors to set up or expand production bases, incubation centres, high-tech enterprises and other businesses,” he said.
Ter, who is also the National Chamber of Com­merce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) president, added that Malaysia should take advantage of its unique position not only as Asean’s gateway to China, but also China’s gateway to Asean.
“To thrive at the global stage, Malaysia should recognise and grasp these opportunities.
“In this respect, we are fortunate to have the Chinese as important strategic partners,” he said, noting that the effort was in line with China’s Belt and Road policy.
Malaysia China Chamber of Com­merce council member C.K. Liew said it was wrong of Muhyiddin to make such claims as China’s investments would benefit the national economy.
“He is just trying to politicise Malaysia’s close ties with China.
“The Chinese have invested glo­bally and have done so on a win-win basis where all parties share mutual benefit,” he said.
Liew, who is also Tea Trade Association of Malaysia (TTAM) deputy president, added that it was ironic for Muhyiddin to be now making such claims as he had sought foreign investments when serving the Government.
“China’s investments will help spur local businesses and create thousands of new jobs yet Muhyid­din is saying otherwise,” Liew added.
Malay Merchants and Entre­preneurs Association (Perdasama) vice-president Datuk Naim Moha­mad also rejected Muhyiddin’s claims, saying that Malay businessmen were looking towards closer economic links with China.
“Who says we are not happy?
“It is unfair of him to say that when Perdasama is working closely with local Chinese chambers and associations to forge closer cooperation with Chinese investors,” he said.
He chided Muhyiddin for being a hypocrite as he was once the International Trade and Industry Minister who sought foreign investment.
“Why is he questioning Malaysia seeking investment from China when we have also done so with the US, Japan and Europe,” he said.

Naim noted that trade ties between Malaysia and China could be traced back over 600 years and were not something new.