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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Anwar says graft causing FDI drop

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has claimed the Barisan Nasional government’s poor governance and “endemic corruption” are behind falling foreign direct investment (FDI) in Malaysia.
The parliamentary Opposition Leader made the accusation in Parliament when asking the international trade and industry minister to explain the reasons behind the FDI drop despite liberalisation in several service sectors.
“Some important considerations have to be taken into consideration. Based on an Unctad report on December last year, the ability of Malaysia to attract foreign investments has dropped from number 62 to 66,” Anwar (picture) said after the ministry’s reply.
He then cited reports which, he claimed, proved Malaysia’s drop in standing.
“Malaysia’s figure stands at RM22.1 billion, while Singapore RM75.5 billion. Thailand and Indonesia have recorded RM27 million each.
“Why is Malaysia now trailing behind countries which were once behind Malaysia in development?” asked Anwar.
The minister, Datuk Mustapa Mohamad, charged that Anwar’s claims were misguided and that Malaysia’s economy was steadily improving.
“The economy of the country is stabilising. The unemployment rate dropped 3.6 per cent last year,” he replied.
He maintained that what is happening in the country is an increase in competitive spirit.
“Things have become more competitive, but this does not mean the economy is declining,” said Mustapa.
The minister then pointed out that positive measures have been taken by the government to ensure foreign investors come and invest in the country.
“If there is no pull factor, why do so many Japanese companies want to invest here?” asked Mustapa.


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