KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will be "very friendly" towards the private sector be it foreign or local investors, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in his closing address at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2018 here today.
"We will help them to make profit when they invest in this country, be it foreign or local. I would like to explain that we allow, accept and encourage foreign direct investments (FDIs). FDIs to us mean bringing in capital, technology, setting up plants in Malaysia and employing Malaysians so that we can have the benefit of the investment in our country," the premier added.
He said the government will be very hospitable to all investors as these investments will help to create employment and opportunities for the country.
The prime minister also shared with the crowd that the government is ready to listen to investors about their unhappiness, grouses, as well as suggestions on ways to improve the environment for them to invest in the country and make profit from their investment.
He noted that the success of local and foreign investors will benefit the country as a whole and the government intends to ensure this will translate into the growth of wealth in the country.
Having said that, Dr Mahathir pointed out that the government does not consider the purchase of land to build towns or settlements for foreigners using foreign labour as FDIs.
"We do not consider the purchase of land in order to build towns or settlements for foreign people using foreign labor as FDIs. We're not discriminating any particular people or country. We want investment in this country to benefit not only the investors, but also the people of this country so we welcome FDIs because we're sure they will contribute to the growth of this country," he said.
Dr Mahathir had previously commented on the mega Forest City project in Johor, a development by Chinese developer Country Garden Holdings Co, saying that the project was built for foreigners, not for Malaysians as the prices were beyond the means of average Malaysians.
The prime minister also shared the importance for the disparity between the rich and the poor to be reduced to avoid any tension in the community.
Dr Mahathir said the government wants the country to prosper but aims to ensure that the different races in this country will enjoy the same wealth with each other.
He emphasised that the government's focus is to create an environment that would promote productivity in the country, as opposed to one on higher minimum wage. "Higher minimum wage in itself does not help or solve anything," he added.Source: The Edge Markets