Guan Eng: Is it wrong to redo unfair contracts?

Lim Guan Eng reminds BN that China already has invested in Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has asked what could be wrong about reviewing unfair contracts with any country in the world, China included.

In response to criticism from Penang Barisan Nasional, he said: “Contracts entered must be honoured but what is wrong with renegotiating unfair contracts, whether from China or from other countries, in order to extract a better deal for Malaysians?”

Lim said DAP welcomed all foreign investment in Malaysia, as long as it was in the interests of Malaysians.

There already was investment from China in Penang, in the electronics industry among others, he said in response to Penang BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow’s query on his views about remarks made by Dr Mahathir Mohamad against Chinese investment.

Teng had said Mahathir’s remarks sent the wrong message to foreign investors and had affected investor sentiment.

Since last week, Teng has urged Lim and his father, DAP veteran Kit Siang, to state their stand on Chinese investments in the wake of the remarks by Mahathir, who is chairman of Pakatan Harapan.

Lim brought up two proposed mega-projects with links to Chinese companies and asked why no questions were asked about the federal government’s East Coast Rail Link project but Penang’s undersea tunnel had been criticised.

“The RM55 billion ECRL project was granted without an open tender, whereas the Penang undersea tunnel project was through an open competitive tender. Why is there a problem with the undersea tunnel when it is granted by open competitive tender, but no problem with the ECRL when there is no open tender?” he said in a statement.

Lim also brought up another proposed Penang transport project and said that Teng was just trying to divert attention from the lack of an LRT project in the BN manifesto for Penang.

Lim has often berated BN about the LRT, saying any party which did not do so would not be qualified to run a government.

Teng, who is head of Penang Gerakan, had also accused PH leaders of trying to sabotage the federal government’s efforts at attracting investment and boosting the country’s economic growth.

Mahathir’s remarks about Chinese investment were made in a recent Associated Press interview. He said a Pakatan Harapan government would review Chinese investment and stop taking loans from China, as Malaysia had borrowed heavily and might be unable to repay the loans.

“We feel that we should stop borrowing. We will try to renegotiate the terms of the borrowing,” he was quoted as saying. “In the case of projects, we may have to study whether we would continue, slow down or renegotiate the terms”.

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