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PUTRAJAYA, April 24 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) has successfully changed international perception of Malaysia that was seen as a “kleptocracy” under Barisan Nasional (BN), Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said.
“Can you imagine the new foreign minister going to international forums representing Malaysia that used to be synonymous with kleptocracy?
“But the international community understands what is New Malaysia,” the foreign minister told a media interview in conjunction with PH’s first anniversary of its first term in office.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is currently facing a corruption trial related to a former subsidiary of state investment firm 1MDB that was embroiled in a global financial scandal under his administration.
Saifuddin also listed Malaysia’s warming ties with China and Singapore as among his ministry’s achievements.
He declined to rate his performance over the past one year on a scale of one to 10.
“I think we did fairly well. It’s not fair if I were to self-evaluate. Six or seven is very low, but I don’t want to give a number.”
The PH government managed to reduce the cost of the China-backed East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project from RM65.5 billion under the previous BN administration to RM44 billion.
Malaysia’s relations with Singapore, however, have grown trickier during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration, as both countries wrangle over water and territorial boundaries.