Chinese investments merely represent 2% FDI in Malaysia, says Najib (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Investments from China represented merely 2% of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said today.

Citing data sourced by the Statistics Department, Najib said despite China having gained prominence as a major foreign investor in the country across a broad base of sectors, it is still ranked 10th among the top 10 FDI nations in Malaysia.

"China is the world's second largest economy and trading nation that is looking increasingly outwards.

"So it makes no economic sense for Malaysia to turn away Chinese FDI, as some opposition politicians are suggesting," he said during the officiating ceremony of the 2017 National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) Economic Forum at KLCC here.

Najib said nine business agreements have been signed between Malaysian and China companies with proposed investments estimated at RM31.3 billion.

"This is in addition to 14 Memorandums of Understanding relating to the defence, agriculture, education, finance and construction sectors worth RM143.6 billion signed on Nov 2, last year," he said.

Upon the completion of the upcoming East Coast Rail Link project, Najib said Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan is expected to achieve 1% to 1.5% in additional growth per year from the project, which he will launch in Kuantan, today.

"This project will be a game-changer for the east coast states.

"China's massive investment commitment demonstrates the real and transformative results of the excellent relations that Malaysia and China have built.

"The long-term loan that we received from China (for the ECRL project) is on a very, very competitive basis," he said.

Despite numerous investments from China, Najib stressed that the government will not compromise an inch of the country's sovereignty.

"It is our responsibility to protect the interests of Malaysians and of local businesses.

"The same Opposition politicians who warned about Chinese investments are the same politicians who want to abolish the Goods and Services Tax (GST), with no answer as to how they would find RM41 billion in revenue that the tax brought in last year," he said.

Calling them scaremongers, Najib said that the Government would continue its reform programme and ensure Malaysia continues its journey towards becoming a high-income nation.

"I will not shy away from my responsibility for as long as the people want me to continue to lead this country. I will do my best. I ensure you there is a fair government and a government which will steer towards a better nation," he said.