KUALA LUMPUR: Investors are making a comeback to Malaysia as they have confidence with policies set by the new government, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said those who had previously refused to invest in Malaysia indicated now that they were happy with the treatment accorded by this government.
“They are happy because nobody asked for 30% shares or refused to approve applications because they didn’t want to bribe (government) officers,” he told reporters after opening the Anti-Corruption Summit 2018.
The Prime Minister was asked on foreign countries’ perception on the Pakatan Harapan government.
“To ensure government agencies and GLCs are well and professionally managed, the government has appointed officers with ‘no political links’ to helm these organisations,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said this was a departure from the previous practice which resulted in many of them serving their personal interest.
“People (then) didn’t care about the job as this was an opportunity to make money for themselves. But all those party-appointed people have been removed.
“New officers who are not involved have been put in place to ensure the agencies and companies are run properly.
“Now we don’t have corruption committed as blatant as before. We have to maintain this,” he said.
His priority, he said, was to govern the country and not just about hauling individuals from the previous government to court.
“We can’t just focus on corruption.
“We have work to do ... to govern the country. We also have to formulate new laws, repeal old and oppressive laws.
“ There is a lot of work to do,” he said.
Aside from taking the “big boys” to court, he said the government had already worked on the economy, including reducing previous borrowings as part of the efforts.
Dr Mahathir also said that “wasteful projects” had been cancelled to strengthen the government’s finances.
“We have reduced borrowings of RM55bil that was for the East Coast Rail Link and another substantial amount for the High Speed Rail.
“We are saving money because we have dropped or postponed projects. We don’t have the cash,” he explained.
In his address earlier, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia had emerged from a period where “corruption is right”, adding that it became a slogan of sorts for the government then.