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Johari questions govt screening process of businesses in RM170b deals with China

KUALA LUMPUR: A Barisan Nasional member of parliament today urged the government to explain its screening process of businesses before accepting investment commitments.

Titiwangsa MP Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, at the Dewan Rakyat, said several local companies that signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) in China did not have a proper track record.

“Recently, the prime minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) visited China.

“The visit saw the signing of 19 MoUs between Chinese and local companies, with a total investment of RM170 billion.

“Did Miti (Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry) or Mida (Malaysian Investment Development Authority) vet the companies before his (Anwar’s) visit?

“This is because I see that some of these companies have no track record to be presented to a country such as China, which is the second largest economy in the world,” he said during the question-and-answer session.

Johari also asked Miti to take steps to ensure the RM170 billion investment commitment by Chinese businesses could be realised.

“Based on statistics, we could realise about 70 per cent of the FDIs we bring in.

“If we can realise about 70 per cent of the RM170 billion, this could create many jobs.”

During the visit to China in March, Anwar said Malaysia would receive a massive boost to its economy following China’s commitment to invest RM170 billion in Malaysian businesses.

He said Malaysia had recorded nett FDI totalling RM186 billion over the past five years, based on statistics from the Department of Statistics.

The FDIs, in addition to domestic direct investments, had created 464,550 jobs over the last five years, he said.

Deputy Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Liew Chin Tong said a committee and Mida would oversee the RM170 billion investments to ensure they were carried out.

“The government is driven by the National Investment Policy in receiving FDI or any investment, based on five criteria.

“They include boosting our economic complexity, generating high-income jobs, expanding domestic network, creating new economic clusters, and improving inclusivity.”

On a different supplementary question from Datuk Dr Ku Abd Rahman Ku Ismail (Perikatan Nasional-Kubang Pasu), Liew said the government hoped to reduce the country’s dependency on foreign workers.

He said government policy targeted an 80:20 ratio between local and foreign workers.

Source : NST

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