Teng: ECRL halt will not impact China's investment in M'sia

  • Aug 10, 2018
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Selangor executive councillor Teng Chang Khim believes that Putrajaya's decision to call off the East Coast Railway Line (ECRL) project would not scare away other China investors.

According to Teng, the ECRL halt is an isolated case, and it does not reflect on Malaysia's attitude towards other Chinese investments.

He explained that China's investments could be split into two "waves" - the first being infrastructure-related on a government-to-government (G2G) basis, while the second is investments in the private manufacturing sector.

"The ECRL you mentioned belongs to the first wave of infrastructure, which is G2G.

"ECRL is a complicated and isolated case. It should not be seen as Malaysia's yardstick towards China investment. Both are different issues.

"As such, it would not affect the confidence of China investors," Teng, who is in charge of state trade and investment, told Malaysian media after witnessing the Selangor state government's signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with China's Zhejiang provincial government on e-commerce in Hangzhou today.

Since August 2, Teng has been visiting Nanning (Guangxi province), Beijing, Shandong province and Hangzhou (Zhejiang province) to meet local manufacturers, some of whom have expressed concerns about Malaysia's stance on China's investment following the regime change, he said.

He has tried to explain to them, he added.

"Of course, they will have questions and we can explain to their top management."

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's upcoming visit to China next week will enhance Beijing-Putrajaya ties, Teng said further.

"Mahathir will first visit the Alibaba company in Hangzhou, then Beijing. He will definitely express Malaysia's pro-business stance. We don't hold any hostility towards China.

"During his first tenure as PM, he was a pragmatic leader when it came to trade, economy and foreign relationship. His China trip will reinforce the understanding between the new Malaysian government and China, and enhance both countries' investments."

Mahathir is scheduled to make his maiden official trip to Beijing on Aug 17, after being sworn in as prime minister for a second time on May 10.

His administration has thus far suspended Chinese-backed projects worth US$23 billion.

Putrajaya is adamant not to continue with these projects unless the prices involved are reduced. This includes the US$20 billion ECRL to be built by the state-owned Chinese Communications Construction Company.

Meanwhile, the Selangor state government's investment arm--Invest Selangor and the Zhejiang province's e-commerce promotion centre signed a strategic cooperation agreement today.

The agreement, according to Teng, is to provide a framework for both governments to enhance partnership in the e-commerce sector.