KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the first year of Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) rule has been dedicated to “consolidation, rehabilitation and resetting the nation” following the “mess” created by 1MDB.
The prime minister said the damage had been more extensive than expected. Along the way, he said, it was discovered that other pillars of the country’s economy had been as badly compromised, if not worse.
Speaking at the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting here today, however, he said progress had been made.
“I believe we have turned the corner, and we look forward to finally sitting down and pursuing our plans instead of merely being tied down to mopping and cleaning-up tasks.”
He said PH also realises that the country cannot develop if the economy does not grow.
“Therefore, we are committed to ensuring that 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 US businesses, now and in years to come,” he added.
In 2018, the US was Malaysia’s third largest trading partner in the world, with total trade exceeding RM155 billion. Exports from Malaysia to the US increased to more than RM90 billion, the highest value in more than a decade.
Of the 78 MNCs under InvestKL, 20 are from the US, the most from any single country.
In the manufacturing space, the US is the second-largest foreign investor in Malaysia. Projects that US companies have implemented are valued at almost US$22 billion, second only to Japan.