Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar's statement over Chinese investments in Johor deserves respect as it is based on facts, says Communication and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.
He said the statement by the sultan clearly showed the importance of luring foreign direct investment (FDI) regardless of the country as it would help boost the Malaysian economy and create jobs for the people.
Salleh said the allegation that the investments would cause Malaysia to lose its sovereignty, as raised by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was not true.
"He (Mahathir) used the FDI issue merely to achieve his political agenda and to nurture hatred against certain races," he told reporters after witnessing the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation on Information and Communication between Malaysia and Japan in Putrajaya today.
In an interview with a local English daily, Sultan Ibrahim rapped Mahathir for generating controversy on Forest City project in Johor.
The sultan was quoted as saying "Mahathir has gone too far with his twisting of the issue. He is making allegations that 700,000 mainland Chinese will stay in JB, and that citizenships will be given away, and that huge tracts of land have been sold to the Chinese".
Salleh explained that foreign investors from Europe, Japan and India, had been investing in Malaysia for quite some time.
"Why touch only on Chinese investors? What is his (Mahathir) motive and intention?," he said.
On the issue involving an Administration and Diplomatic Service (PTD) officer at the Malaysian Embassy in the Philippines who allegedly made a remark on Facebook insulting the death of former Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem, Salleh said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) would investigate the case.
"The MCMC has received the report. Necessary action will be taken following the investigation. If there is a solid foundation to the case, we will refer to the attorney-general for further action," he said.
It was reported that the PTD officer had been suspended from duties and ordered to return home to facilitate in the investigation.