Parliament: Motion to debate FDI outflow rejected


  • Nation
  • Monday, 24 Nov 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Dewan Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee rejected Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s motion for Budget 2009 to be postponed temporarily to debate a United Nations report on Malaysia’s foreign direct investment (FDI) outflow.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development World Investment Report 2008 said that Malaysia’s FDI outflow had touched RM38bil compared with its RM29bil inflow, resulting in the country experiencing a net outflow of RM9bil, Anwar said.

Ronald said he received the motion based on Standing Order 18 (1) last Wednesday and it met only two out of three conditions.

“The matter is specific and of public interest but it need not be expedited,” he said.

Upon hearing this, Anwar stood up and said the issue was urgent and if not discussed and tackled soon, might lead to the economic situation worsening.

He also urged the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition to call for a special session with the opposition Pakatan Rakyat to jointly find solutions.

“So I continue to ask (International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) to take the issue seriously,” he said.

Ronald replied that Muhyiddin had explained the issue last month during the Budget 2009 wrap-up at policy level and had also answered such a question at the Committee level on Nov 20.

Anwar had earlier said that a massive FDI outflow had been occurring since 2005 and if it continued further, would result in recession, dwindling GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and rising unemployment.

“In general, Asean experienced a big increase in FDI inflow which touched RM209bil last year compared with RM116bil for 2006 -- an 81.9% increase compared with Malaysia’s 13% increase,” he said.

If this was not rectified soon, the country would be left behind in economic competition and development compared with its neighbouring countries, he said.

At the Parliament lobby later Monday, Anwar argued that although Ronald said the issue had been answered, it was not about answering questions but finding a solution to a big problem.

On Muhyiddin’s answer in Parliament that the investment outflow was not all going to foreigners since it also involved Malaysians investing overseas, Anwar said there was a huge outflow and it was not just about investments alone.

“You don’t give a blanket, simplistic answer because a massive outflow can also be an issue of (lack of) confidence in the system,” he said.

“We should do whatever we can to get people to invest here,” he said.

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