The increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) from China to Malaysia is due to the growing trade between both countries and not an act by the government to shore up support from the Chinese.
International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Chua Tee Yong said China's position as the largest trading partner and an FDI source was not unique as the US was previously Malaysia's major trading partner and the largest FDI source.
"To allege a certain country invests in Malaysia to shore up support is very misguided... in fact, I don't believe if the US invests in Malaysia, it will shore up support for a certain race, it doesn't work that way," he said.
He told reporters this after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between local e-payment service provider, Soft Space Sdn Bhd, and Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company, a leader in the Japanese credit card industry.
Chua said Malaysia welcomed foreign investments regardless of the country, as long as it fulfilled the government's policy requirements.
He said among the requirements was investment in an industry that created more multiplier effects in terms of job requirements, less pollution and less labour-intensive.
He also said that Malaysia as a trading nation must always explore new markets, new investment areas, as well as ways to increase export.
"Normally, when a company invests in Malaysia, it will look at the export market and Malaysia, located within the Asean region, is in a strategic location," he added.
The MOU between Soft Space and Sumitomo Mitsui Card will pave the way for the Japanese company to introduce Soft Space's e-payment solutions to Japanese companies and local banks that are in partnership with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group.