KUALA LUMPUR (April 18): The first year of Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has been dedicated to consolidation, rehabilitation and resetting the nation amid the mess created by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
The Prime Minister said as the government struggled to make real sense of the scandal it discovered, the damage was more extensive than expected and along the way, as it uncovered that the other pillars of the country’s economy were compromised as badly if not worst.
“To sum it up, it had been a year of consolidation, rehabilitation and resetting our nation,” he said at the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce’s (Amcham) Annual General Meeting here, today.
Nevertheless, Dr Mahathir said the new Government inherited issues, and had its work cut out for it, “I believe we have turned the corner and we look forward to finally sit down and pursue our plans instead of merely tied down to mopping and cleaning up tasks.”
He said the PH government is also conscious that the country cannot develop if it does not grow the economy.
“Therefore, we are committed to ensuring our policies are investor-friendly; to both foreign and domestic investors. This Government will strive to continue our engagement with multinationals like you.
“As we take your viewpoints into consideration, in turn, you will continue to view Malaysia as a favoured, strategic and profitable investment destination for U.S. businesses now and in years to come,” the Prime Minister said.
In 2018, the U.S. was Malaysia’s third largest trading partner in the world, with total trade exceeding RM155 billion. Exports from Malaysia to the U.S. increased to more than RM90 billion, which was the highest value in more than a decade.
Of the 78 MNCs under InvestKL, 20 of them are from the U.S. This is by far the biggest from any single country — the next one has only half this number.
In the manufacturing space, the U.S. is the second-largest foreign investor in Malaysia. Projects that U.S. companies have implemented are valued at almost US$22 billion, second only to Japan.