KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s overseas investment has exceeded foreign direct investments (FDI) here with money flowing into China used to being bigger than the latter's investment here, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Describing Malaysia-China investment ties as a "two-way street", Najib said the government will never sacrifice an inch of the country's sovereignty despite irresponsible politicians scare-mongering FDI from China.
“We received RM63 billion from China and Hong Kong but Japan's RM70 billion investments doesn't 't seem to trigger anyone warning we are selling our country to the Japanese,” he told more than 1,000 delegates at Invest Malaysia 2018 here today.
More recently, Najib highlighted the country’s economy was doing good when foreign net fund inflow posted a positive RM10.8 billion as at end-2017, the highest since 2012.
He cautioned there was a concentrated campaign to sabotage Malaysia’s economy for political gain.
“Challenges at 1MDB, were amplified and used as a tool to suggest that our economy was collapsing.
“There were indeed failings at the company, there were lapses of governance. There was valid cause for concern. This is why I ordered one of the most comprehensive and detailed investigations in Malaysia’s corporate history, one that involved multiple lawful authorities, including a bipartisan parliamentary body.
“Their findings were taken on board – and the company’s board was dissolved, its management team changed, and its operations reviewed,” Najib said.
He pointed out that 1MDB had rationalised its assets, and with the proceeds, took an aggressive approach in reducing the debts to its lowest possible levels.
1MDB also ensured that Bandar Malaysia and Tun Razak Exchange developments remain as attractive investment propositions to both its shareholders and investors.
Najib acknowledged that his administration had had many legacy issues to confront when he became prime minister in 2008.
“Some of our development under a former leader had come with an unnecessary price tag – a class of crony capitalists whose wealth came at the cost of ordinary Malaysians. We vowed that would end,” Najib said.
For decades, Najib pointed that Malaysia’s public transport was neglected.
“It was incoherent, with different owners, different systems, and certainly no integration. One man’s obsession with the idea of a national car – which is now being turned round under international joint ownership – led to Malaysia lacking an efficient public transport system.”
He said this was a serious obstacle to Malaysia’s ambition to achieve high income status and for Kuala Lumpur to be a world class capital.
“So we immediately took steps to rectify and public transport is now a top priority for the government.
“We look forward to the high speed rail link from KL to Singapore, which will cut travel time between the two cities to 90 minutes, as opposed to four or five hours by car. Singapore and Malaysia just also recently signed an agreement on another cross-border rail link,” he said.
These initiatives, he added, are game-changers for growth in both countries.
"We also launched the Marina One and Duo projects jointly developed by Khazanah Nasional and Temasek, which will reap mutual rewards.
“That’s an example of the positive effects of leaders who try to work with other people, rather than bad mouthing neighbours and spending their days writing sarcastic blog posts,” Najib said.