KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is stealing credit from civil servants who toiled to bring in foreign direct investment by claiming responsibility for these, said Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming.
In a rebuttal to Najib who interpreted reports about the rate of FDI in the country as indirect praise for his administration, Ong said the “pathetic” attempt also minimised the country’s characteristics that made it an attractive destination for foreign funds.
“If anyone should take credit, it should be the hard working civil servants at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti), the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (Mida) and the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), in their consistent and concerted efforts to attract foreign direct investment and to promote external trade,” Ong said in a statement today.
Among others, Ong highlighted to the former PM that FDI continued to flow into Malaysia after the latter was voted out in the 14th general election, adding that direct investment in the manufacturing sector during the third quarter of 2018 was RM35 billion versus RM7 billion in the preceding year.
The DAP leader further pointed out that trade growth rose 7 per cent year-on-year after the May general election versus a 4.7 per cent comparative increase in the quarter before the poll.
“Indeed, instead of taking credit, Najib should thank the two previous and longest serving ministers of international trade and industry who emphasised a high level of professionalism and put in place investor friendly policies: Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz (1997 to 2008) and Datuk Mustapa Mohamed (2009 to 2018).
“He should also take note that Rafidah left Umno before GE14 and actively campaigned against Najib personally during the recent general elections and Mustapa left Umno after GE14 and has since joined Bersatu,” he added.
Ong went on to ask how much the country’s FDI might have been had Malaysia not been saddled with the global corruption scandal surrounding 1MDB.
Yesterday, Najib commented on Miti’s statement announcing RM1.9 trillion of investments in Malaysia over the past decade by calling this “curious praise” for his Barisan Nasional administration.