KUALA LUMPUR: Some 70% of Malaysians feel positive about China’s presence and investment in the country, according to a survey conducted by Merdeka Centre.
Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the perception in general is positive despite some mixed responses by communal divide.
“When asked whether they feel China is doing more good or harm in the region, almost 70% of the total population answered in the positive,” he revealed at a roundtable discussion on “China’s Investment: Economic and Geo-Political Impact” organised by Perkasa yesterday.
The opinion poll was conducted between October and November last year to gauge how Malaysians perceived China’s investments in the country with some 1,200 respondents across the country.
Wan Saiful said when broken along the ethnic lines, figures show that 76% of Malaysian Chinese feel China will do more good than harm, compared to 65% of Malays.
“Yet, across the board, around 80% feel that China is exerting a positive influence on Malaysia.”
He also noted that 60% of the population is comfortable with China being the largest investor in the country while 38% believe otherwise.
To a question of whether China’s increasing investment will generate economic benefits or increase national debts, Wan Saiful said 49% express confidence for the former.
“Another intriguing response by Malaysian Chinese was to the question whether they believe that China’s presence will bring positive impact to them or their families, 52% of them think they will not benefit,” he said.
Perkasa president Datuk Dr Ibrahim Ali said the Malay rights group organised the roundtable discussion because it is worried about the implications China’s investments will bring.
“We are looking at national security, whether it will have any impact on our labour system and the country’s identity,” he said.
He also urged the Government to introduce a key performance index system to ensure that bumiputra contractors and businesses will not be left out from the mega projects brought in by China.