• 'China A Partner In Malaysia's Growth'

    Published: Wednesday, 28 February 2018
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    KUALA LUMPUR: China's business community is one of Malaysia’s partners in developing Malaysia into a high-income and skilled nation.

    In making this point, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said: “I do not need to apologise for saying so.”

    He said the strong Malaysia-China ties had contributed to an impressive bilateral trade of US$96.3 billion (RM376.63 billion) last year.

    He said despite the exponential trade development between the two countries, there was “a former Malaysian leader” who had tried to undermine ties with the global economic superpower.

    “When it comes to Chinese investments in the country, he accuses the government of selling Malaysia’s sovereignty to China.

    “On that basis, did we sell our sovereignty to Japan during his time in power?

    “One of our partners in developing Malaysia into a high-income and skilled nation is China’s business community. I make no apology for saying that,” Najib said at the Malaysia-China Bilateral Cooperation Lunar New Year Luncheon yesterday.

    Najib said Malaysia maintained its sovereignty despite entering a host of economic bilateral ties.

    “We have had more investments from Japan than from China and Hong Kong. But as far as I can tell, we are still a sovereign nation.

    “Malaysian investments in China used to be bigger than Chinese investments in Malaysia. Did that mean we were buying Chinese sovereignty?

    “Of course, not. This is economic illiteracy.

    “Anyone who says this has no knowledge of how the economy works. It is scaremongering for selfish political gains.”

    Najib said it was foolish to push away economic opportunities that were built on mutual trust and respect.

    “It would be bad for Malaysians if we were to spurn the hand of friendship — a hand that Malaysia, under my father Tun (Abdul) Razak (Hussein), first offered to China in 1974, thus, making history by being the first Asean member state to establish diplomatic relations with China.

    “We were right then, and we are right to welcome Chinese investments now.”

    Najib said China’s president, Xi Jinping, had described the relationship between Malaysia and China as being “at an all-time high”.

    “We trade with each other. Even the price of durian had shot up due to strong demand from the Chinese market, to the benefit of Malaysian farmers.

    “We invest in each other and, when appropriate, we form partnerships so that we can take advantage of the economy of the future and ensure that this really is the Asian Century.”

    Najib said Malaysia stood to benefit from Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

    “A key component of President Xi’s BRI is that Malaysia stands to reap in opportunities as it has the potential to create the world’s largest platform for economic cooperation.

    “As a responsible government working to promote Malaysians’ interests, we embrace BRI.

    “It is not in our national interest to turn our back on it.”.-NST


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