KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Minister of International Trade Mukhriz Mahathir today turned the tables on the opposition, blaming them for the significant decline of Malaysia's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as reported by United Nation's World Investment Report.
The report, which was released last July, recorded a critical decrease in FDI for the year 2009, leaving Malaysia trailing behind regional countries.
The report has led to finger-pointing with many blaming the government and its arm Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida) for its failure to attract foreign investors.
Mukhriz, while admitting to the drop in FDI, however blamed Pakatan Rakyat, whom he said had been "bad mouthing Malaysia" in the international arena.
Responding to Hatta Ramli (PAS-Kuala Krai), Mukriz told the Dewan Rakyat that the investors had shunned away from Malaysia because the "opposition had been insulting the country".
"I would like to say, if the investors are not happy with Malaysia, this is caused by the opposition. They have been actively bad-mouthing and insulting the country at various forums when they are overseas," he said, drawing support from the government bench.
He stressed that the opposition in Malaysia are "different" from the ones in other countries, where they are more patriotic and concious of the country's image.
"Although they do not share the same political platform and have different views, they are still patriotic because if they are fated to take over the government, they can benefit from the good things the previous government has done," he said.
Don't blame Mida
Mukhriz also defended Mida, saying that since becoming a corporate body, Mida has done its best to attract foreign investors into the country.
He said this was reflected by the high foreign investment received by Pakatan-led states.
He said up to Aug 5 this year Selangor had received the most foreign investment, followed by Penang and Kedah.
"Selangor has received a total of RM5.66 billion while the second place goes to Johor. This is followed by Penang, Kedah and Perak.
"This shows that BN does not use a discrimination approach and Mida has always encouraged investment in these states," he said.
Mukhriz also defended Mida's role in attracting foreign investors, saying that it now has the ability to make swift decisions since it was corporatised.
"When they consult the foreign investors, they are able to make quick decisions in bringing more investment to the country, including to the states which are governed by the opposition," he said.