KUALA LUMPUR: Umno ministers today lashed out at former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for saying that the latest deals with China may end up threatening Malaysia’s sovereignty.
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) made by China highlight the importance given by China to Malaysia and had nothing to do with jeopardising the nation’s sovereignty.
“Chinese investors are benefiting our country based on its returns as well as through the economic growth aspect.
“I hope those kinds of interpretation (negative) can be put aside as what is being done is nothing new and is being done by many other nations that need FDIs,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
Yesterday, Mahathir warned that several deals being inked by Prime Minister Najib Razak with the Chinese government may end up undermining Malaysia’s sovereignty.
He said this includes Malaysia’s territorial claim in the South China Sea which is also being claimed by China.
Mahathir also expressed concerns at the country’s loan of RM55 billion from China to construct the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).
Tourism Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz also sang the same tune as Zahid, saying that the deals have nothing to do with jeopardising Malaysia’s sovereignty.
He said times have changed since Mahathir was the premier as China today is known to be the second biggest economy in the world, not a communist nation like how it was during the 90’s.
“I think Mahathir was thinking about his time as PM. That time China was a communist country but now China is different. They are the second biggest economy in the world. In the current era, the sovereignty question does not arise at all.
“His time was dangerous compared to now. The investment is something done by all counties around the world. He is jealous, I think,” said Nazri.
The Padang Rengas MP stated that the huge investment by China showed that it is confident with how Najib is running the country.
He said this doesn’t bode well for Mahathir who kept saying that foreign investors have lost confidence in the country and that Malaysia is going bankrupt.
“He is not happy, jealous. His view is something borne out of ill-heart. He just wants to see Najib fall.
“Najib is a man of principles; The question of sovereignty won’t arise. Maybe with Mahathir it would be different as he doesn’t have the mental strength; he will give in to China,” he said.-source