Malaysia not 'colonised' by China: Liow

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has dismissed claims that China is "colonising" the nation's economy through foreign direct investment (FDI).

Liow, who is also Transport Minister, said Malaysia's economy will not be "colonised" by any country and the claims were merely "political".

"China is not the number one investor in Malaysia. We have other nations which have invested in the country such as Japan, Korea, United States and other Asean countries.

"China deemed Malaysia as a strategic country for FDI," Liow said after officiating the 1st Asia Retail & O2O Conference and Expo 2017 held at Berjaya Times Square hotel here.

He was responding to queries on whether Malaysia is dependent on China's FDI to develop its economy.

Several members of the opposition said they viewed with caution China's bountiful investments into Malaysia.

The opposition claimed that although investment remains important for economic growth, the country must adopt moderate and prudent approaches to cope with potential risks.

Liow said any "political manipulation" must be dismissed in order to focus on the nation's economic growth.

"We are focusing on the nation's economic growth, and I would like to reiterate that these forms of lies would not hamper the government's effort to put Malaysia's economic at its highest level.

"We manage to attract foreign investors with various economic transformation initiatives provided by the government," he said.

Last November, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak witnessed the signing of 14 Memorandums of Understanding between Malaysia and China corporations relating to the defence, agriculture, education, finance and construction sectors worth RM143.6 billion.

In May, Najib also witnessed nine business agreements signing in China between Malaysian and Chinese companies with proposed investments estimated at US$7.22 billion (about RM31.3 billion).

Meanwhile, the first Asia Retail & O2O Conference and Expo 2017 aims to develop the e-commerce industry in the country as well as in Southeast Asia.

The initiative is organised by the Malaysian government with the Embassy of the People's Republic of China.