MALAYSIA is asking Japan for credit as part of efforts to resolve its debt problem, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Dr Mahathir said he was told Japan was considering the request.
“I have explained the financial problem faced by Malaysia, and towards solving this financial problem, I have requested for yen credit from Japan and Mr Abe, the prime minister, will study this request,” Dr Mahathir said.
He did not say more on the subject.
The Pakatan Harapan government said soon after it took federal power that Malaysia’s total debt was RM1 trillion. The government has embarked on cost-cutting exercises, including scrapping or reviewing big budget and development projects approved by Barisan Nasional.
Dr Mahathir said Japanese investors would find Malaysia an attractive investment destination once its debt problem was resolved.
“The resolution of the debt problem of Malaysia would enable Malaysia to once again be a good market for Japan and also, for Japanese investments.”
Dr Mahathir's official three-day visit to Japan ends today.
He met with major Japanese economic organisations and extended them the invitation to invest in Malaysia, where the new government ihe led was business-friendly, Bernama reports.
"We are not going to have too many bureaucratic hindrances or procedures that would deter foreign investors," Dr Mahathir said.
During his first tenure as prime minister from 1981 to 2002, Dr Mahathir was proponent of technology transfer and trade with Japan under his “Look East” policy.
“We are very happy that Japan had welcomed Malaysia’s Look East policy again and we look forward to the success of this policy.
“There are many areas where we can benefit from working closely with each other – education, training for our people, and more investments from Japan, and hopefully, the setting up of a Japanese branch university."