Hey, it's normal for Dr. M is abnormal! – Business news

The advice is divided on whether the visit of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to China has done more harm than good for Malaysia.

The prime minister's supporters will explain the points to support their argument that what Dr. Mahathir did only for the good of the land. It is a reform of the type of investment that Malaysia should welcome.

The critics, however, faded the 93-year-old prime minister and pointed out that the behavior and the choice of words at the press conference between Dr Mahathir and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang indicated that the second largest economy in the world was not satisfied with Malaysia.

During the press conference, Li called for more free trade because this would help globalization. Dr. Mahathir argued that free trade should be fair trade and not a form of colonialism & # 39; of the poorer countries by the more prosperous superpowers.

Dr Mahathir's remarks were similar to the way the United States describes China's way of increasing its influence in Asia and Africa.

Dr. Mahathir told the media in China immediately that Malaysia can not afford to continue with the RM55bil East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project and the RM9.8bil Trans-Sabah gas pipeline projects.

Both projects were major initiatives from state-owned companies from China in Malaysia and a plane & # 39; no & # 39; against their survival is seen as a blow to that country.

If that was not enough, Dr. Mahathir earlier this week bluntly to foreigners that they should be more aware of what they bought in Forest City, a development along the coasts of Johor Baru that is run by Country Garden of China.

Although the prime minister's office clarified two days later without making any reference to Forest City to allow foreigners to buy goods, but they must be mindful that they do not come with a permanent residence permit, the damage has been done.

China is the largest trading partner of Malaysia and the second largest economy in the world. Given the power of China, relations must be dealt with diplomatically.

By removing the finer points of diplomacy and protocol, Dr. Mahathir, however, only what a prime minister would normally do. He only reinforced the investment policy of Malaysia.

According to a former high government official, the government saw the problem with investments from China when Alliance Steel started in 2014. The investment guidelines were therefore tightened without specifically mentioning the countries involved.

The guidelines were refined to limit the number of employees that could attract foreign investors and the minimum number of local tenders that would have to be implemented if they benefited from tax incentives.

Moreover, the ECRL and gas pipeline projects appeared to be suspicious transactions in which China's state-owned companies were used as conduits.

As far as Forest City is concerned, property buyers should be warned that it would not be permanently home away from their home in China, if that was the impression they had when buying the property.

Malaysia can not pay the ECRL now. The severe anxiety in which Prasarana Malaysia Bhd is located only accentuates why public transport systems are generally loss-making and require government financial support. The latest development now confirms that Prasarana must borrow to pay the salaries of its 17,000 employees.

Malaysia Rail Link has stated that the ECRL can be operationally viable as long as the debt service and the repayment of the principle of the loan amount are regulated by the government.

Looking at the position of Prasarana today, would anyone dare to say that a public transport system can be managed with revenues generated only from its operations?

There is certainly something wrong with the gas pipeline projects in Sabah and Malacca, as 83% of the money has been paid out while the average work is only 13%.

Finally, as far as Forest City is concerned, there is an open discussion about why buyers from China would want to cash in huge sums of money to buy homes in Johor developed by developers from China.

Now we can understand why Country Garden, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and is not affiliated with the Chinese government, would be willing to undertake an investment property of US $ 100bil (RM410bil).

The approvals for the ECRL, gas pipelines and Forest City projects are all from the Ministry of Finance and the Prime Minister's department, which was under the previous Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The state governments of Johor and Malacca were also involved in giving approvals for investments from China.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry was not in the picture.

So Dr. Mahathir only goes back to how and who should deal with investments.

Proverbs to Dr. Mahathir's relations with China is the fact that he has visited Japan twice since he became Prime Minister on May 10, compared to only one official state visit to China.

Relations between China and Japan have never been good. It is so bad that a senior manager who is familiar with China said that in that country, in films about the Second World War, the Chinese are victors and the Japanese are losers.

It is just like how the Americans are always winners against the Germans in Western films on WW II.

Around this time, 20 years ago, fired dr. Mahathir, his then deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, in the midst of the worst economic crisis ever, the Asian currency crisis.

The Malaysian economy fell by 7.4% in 1998. The good doctor rejected the recipe of the International Monetary Fund to improve the economy.

The following year Malaysia's economy was 6.1%, a testimony to the insight of Dr. Mahathir in managing the country's economy, although he is a doctor.

This year he came back after 15 years of retiring to lead the country in dropping Barisan Nasional for 61 years in power.

Dr. Mahathir has a track record of taking the unexpected. Given his history, it is normal for Dr. Mahathir to react abnormally in his dealings with China. For the 93-year-old statesman it is only the final results that count.

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