Wee, Marzuki face off over Malaysia-China trade figures

Bernama pic.

PETALING JAYA: Ayer Hitam MP Wee Ka Siong has taken aim at Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya over Malaysia-China trade figures given by the latter which he says are wrong.

Wee, in a Facebook post, said he had attended the Chinese embassy’s Chinese New Year celebration yesterday where Marzuki represented the Malaysian government.

“Marzuki said in his speech that the two-way trade between Malaysia and China hit RM100 billion ‘for the first time’ last year, thanks to the hard work of the new government.

“YB Deputy Minister should have done his homework – bilateral trade between Malaysia and China reached US$102 billion and US$106 billion a few years ago before dipping below US$100 billion.”

He added that foreign ministry officers could have easily obtained these figures by checking past reports.

In an immediate response, Marzuki refuted Wee’s claims, denying that Pakatan Harapan (PH) was trying to take credit for previous work by Barisan Nasional (BN).

He told FMT he had mentioned in his speech that bilateral trade between Malaysia and China “surpassed the US$100 billion threshold in 2018”.

He added that the global economy had gone through many cycles, including in bilateral trade between Malaysia and other trading countries.

“It is imperative to note that despite these changes, China continued to be Malaysia’s top trading partner for nine consecutive years and the positive trade momentum continues under the new Malaysian government.

“Also, I expressed PH’s commitment to strengthening bilateral ties with China.

“There is no mention about PH claiming credit, as alleged by Wee in his Facebook post,” he said.