Dr M to Japan: I promise a new Malaysia that is business-friendly to overseas investors

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir expressed his wish that the change in government in Malaysia will lead to even closer ties between our country and Japan.

He promised a new Malaysia that is stable, progressive and business-friendly in a speech in front of Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and other invited guests in Tokyo at the 36th Japan-Malaysia Economic Association (JAMECA) and Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (MAJECA) joint conference and Malaysia Business Forum.

"We will repeal oppressive laws, and the new government, the former opposition, is attached to principles of democracy, freedom and rule of law."

Dr Mahathir spoke about the need for Malaysia to encourage a return to talent.

"We need to reclaim people educated in new knowledge. There will be workers and managers who are familiar with new industries,' he said.

He urged Japan to focus on Malaysia, because it will be a new profit centre

"If you invest, I promise you, the government will treat you as an honoured guest. Malaysia, under the new government, is business-friendly."

Dr Mahathir told the forum that the ASEAN region has got tremendous potential and with a total population of 600 million, is the third biggest grouping in the world today in terms of population.

"We are interested in seeing Japanese investment in Malaysia and also Japanese SMEs although unlike big companies they are not familiar with foreign investment."

Dr Mahathir recalled that when Malaysia began its national car project with the Proton Saga in the 1980s, project specialists were sent to work in the Mitsubishi factory so that they would have the skill and work ethics of the Japanese.

He added that having a diverse economy was important to Malaysia saying "although we want to industrialise and to go into manufacturing we are not forgetting agriculture and fisheries."

Asked about a possible trade war between the US and China, Dr Mahathir said that one possible effect would be that the cost of Chinese products could go up, and companies could relocate to other countries such as Malaysia which are not sanctioned by the USA.

Source: The Star