Foreign investment will not deprive people of opportunities - Mustapa

Foreign investment will not deprive people of opportunities - Mustapa
Mustapa hopes UMNO members would help ward off inaccurate facts on foreign investment issues. - Filepic
KUANTAN: The strong and stable leadership in the government will ensure that investments from foreign countries, including China will not affect the national identity and deprive people of the opportunities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.

He said the allegation that Malaysia's sovereignty would be at stake with the implementation of the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) and the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park projects did not hold water as China was not Malaysia's largest investor.

"Instead China is ranked 11th among Malaysia's foreign investors. Japan is the largest investor in manufacturing, while other top investors are Singapore, the United States and Germany which are way ahead of China.

"Malaysia is also investing heavily in China, with Parkson having over 60 supermarkets in China besides UMW Holdings Bhd, Sime Darby and Khazanah Nasional," he told reporters after opening the Indera Mahkota UMNO Division delegates' conference here Saturday.
Mustapa said the inflow of foreign investment was a global phenomenon, and moreover the history of foreign investment in Malaysia dated back to 200 years ago, through rubber plantation and tin mining by the British empire.

He said in fact, Japan was also Malaysia's most important investment partner under the reign of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but the matter of national sovereignty was never bandied about then.

"Ironically, investments from China have become controversial because it is being manipulated. We have to give clarifications to the grassroots and they have to be carried out continuously so that the people will not be hoodwinked by the opposition," he said.

Mustapa reaffirmed the government's commitment in protecting the interests of the people in the implementation of mega projects by foreign investors, citing a 30 per cent quota in the ECRL project for local contractors.

The the government has also fulfilled its promise to allocate 50 per cent of the contract values of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project to Bumiputera contractors, he said.

"We are monitoring every investment and determining the conditions set as we do not foreign companies to monopolise the projects 100 per cent. They also understand that these requirements are to be followed and they need to use local workforce.

"For the ECRL project, the government has set up Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd chaired by Tan Sri Dr Irwan Serigar Abdullah who will monitor its implementation," he said.

In this regard, Mustapa hoped UMNO members would help ward off inaccurate facts on foreign investment issues.

In the last general election, the opposition in Kuantan created fear among the people by claiming that Lynas investment in Gebeng was unsafe as it released radioactive waste which was eventually proved incorrect, he added.