MUAR: Pakatan Harapan's proposal to cancel projects signed with China if they win the polls is a "mad and insane" move, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"The Opposition intends to cancel contracts such as the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and other contracts. This will result in chaos for the rakyat as they will have to shoulder the heat from this disaster," said the Prime Minister.
Najib said this when launching the Muar Furniture Park (MFP) in Bakri on Tuesday (April 4) and added that China is Malaysia's largest trading partner with RM100bil in exports.
He noted that exports in wood-based products to China had increased by 91% or RM121.7mil last year.
"China is the largest purchaser of palm oil products while also importing furniture, electronic and electrical products as well as bird's nest and Musang King durians. If China does not buy our palm oil, furniture and other products, it will affect the livelihood of the people," he said.
He said that it will be the rakyat's loss if this happens.
On Sunday (April 1), Pakatan chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he would do away with the ECRL should the Opposition coalition come into power after the polls.
Dr Mahathir cited the project's cost of RM55bil and the practicality of the project as his reasons for scrapping it.
During the event, Najib declared Muar as the Furniture City Of Malaysia, saying that it is a hub for manufacturing high-value, high-quality furniture.
"The nation ranks ninth in the global export of wood-based products to some 160 countries," he said.
He said that the furniture industry contributed RM23.4bil last year, with Muar contributing 70% of the total.
Najib said he would look into the RM100mil allocation under the 2018 Budget which has yet to reach the manufacturers that switched to automation.
Najib also launched the SuperBumi programme for bumiputra entrepreneurs in the furniture industry.
Covering almost 400 hectares, the furniture manufacturing hub is expected to be operational in 2020 and will house 144 industrial lots with supporting infrastructure.
Some 220 companies are expected to set up operations here and produce wood-based products amounting to RM1.08bil while creating 5,000 jobs.
Also present were Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.