KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 ― Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak dismissed today claims that Malaysia was being sold off to China after both countries signed business deals worth RM144 billion.
He said the 14 business to business Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and agreements, besides an additional 16 government to government MOUs and agreements, were an investment in Malaysia’s economy and would result in jobs, skills and improvement in people’s lives.
“Some have scare-mongered that Malaysia is being sold off. This is absurd and absolutely false,” Najib said in a statement.
“The infrastructure projects will remain owned by Malaysia and operated by Malaysians. But for our mutual benefit, we are building them in partnership with our Chinese friends, just as Malaysian firms are in joint ventures in cutting edge projects all over China,” he added.
He stressed that the business agreements would help not just well-known corporations, but also the thousands of swiftlet farmers and half a million oil palm smallholders.
“These agreements will boost our economy and help all Malaysians have better opportunities and a more prosperous life. For these agreements are truly for all our people,” he said.
Najib said the agreements would strengthen economic ties between China and Malaysia and bring “tangible” benefits to Malaysians for decades.
“Not just new jobs and improved transport, but also more sustainable power sources and greater security along our coastline,” he said, highlighting Malaysia’s purchase of four litoral mission ships from China that he described as the first significant defence deal between both countries.
Another significant agreement is the RM55 billion East Coast Railway Line (ECRL) project, which will connect four states in peninsular Malaysia, that is set to be funded and built by China.
“The many agreements we have signed will have deep and lasting benefits for Malaysia. Just one example is the East Coast Railway Line, which will completely transform the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia and ensure that the fruits of our country’s development are equitably shared. The railway will be the foundation of a new growth corridor for Malaysia,” said Najib.