KUALA LUMPUR – February 17, 2017: The government can brush off claims of shady foreign investments by declassifying all information and statistics.
This is the suggestion from Rahim & Co. chief executive officer Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman who thinks that failure to be transparent would fuel more negative assumptions about the government.
A case in point, Rahim told the press yesterday, was the latest controversy surrounding Johor’s Forest City project.
“So far the government has yet to come out with any cumulative data regarding all of its foreign investment transactions and property deals.
“And because of that, the people will keep on talking about how the government is, in certain deals, trying to sell the country to China,” said Rahim.
Forest City became an issue following a tiff between former prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor late last month.
Mahathir had accused the government of permanently selling out Johor’s land to investors from China by allowing them to buy freehold real estate properties in Forest City.
Several other China-related investments including the involvement of China Railway Group Ltd in the Bandar Malaysia project were also the subjects of criticisms.
“The government must explain to the people how our foreign investment policies will be able to safeguard their (the people) interests,” he said.
Rahim insisted that by right, Malaysians should have no worries over such investments as as the countries laws and regulations protect their interests.
For example, Rahim pointed out, foreigners can only buy properties worth RM1 million and above.
He said Malaysians should realise that having more foreign investors in the country is a a good thing because it will stimulate the country’s growth, especially for the real-estate industry.