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YOURSAY | FDI exodus: Malaysia is fast losing its competitive edge

YOURSAY | ‘Azmin and the PN govt care only about their immediate political survival.’

Azmin's 'casual attitude' to FDI exodus highlights govt disconnect, says Anwar

Kim Quek: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (Unctad) announcement of Malaysia’s drastic plunge in foreign direct investment (FDI) has sent shock waves across a country whose economy has been badly mauled by the Covid-19 pandemic.

But not to Malaysia’s senior minister overseeing foreign investments Azmin Ali, who casually attributed it to his government’s policy of accepting only high-end investments.

The truth, as mentioned by the EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Eurocham), is the horrible investment climate of the country under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) rule.

The bumbling rule of this backdoor government has not only deterred FDI but has literally caused capital flight as indicated by a spate of multinational corporations (MNCs) leaving the country.

At the rate things are deteriorating under the incompetent administration of this backdoor government, the country will soon meet its Waterloo, unless there is a change of government soon.

JackJack: It is very worrying when so many MNCs are leaving the country. It sends a message to the world business community that things are not right in Malaysia.

Any multinationals who are thinking of putting their money in this country now will have second thoughts. I am sure IBM will not be the last. Many more will leave. This country under this unstable government is doomed.

BluePanther4725: Indeed, the incompetency of the backdoor PN government is scaring away all the foreign investors from Malaysia.

It is very irresponsible of Azmin as the international trade and industry minister to take this problem lightly. People lives are going to suffer even more and yet Azmin doesn't even care.

Another Komentar: How to attract "quality" investments in the hyper-competitive world when Malaysian talents and knowledge workers are being forced to work, or even emigrate, overseas?

While systemic race-based policies may be justified for Malaysian domestic political consumption, human capital and investments always go to countries where talents and investments are rewarded based on merit, performance and sound business principles.

Azmin and the current government care only about their immediate political survival and their personal interests, not the economic future of Malaysia.

Goliath: Labour-intensive industries are the ones that create jobs for many Malaysians who may not afford educational qualification. These do not necessarily rely heavily on foreign workers if targeted groups of Malaysians can be prepared in advance to handle those jobs.

Working with Amazon, Microsoft and Google to build data centres are the kind of jobs that rely heavily on skilled workers with qualifications from expensive education needs.

Has the ministry done enough to get Malaysians prepared for a digital age? Can we get massive skilled labour from our kampungs to build cutting-edge fully-secured data centres? If not, guess where we have to hire them to build these data centres and to manage them?

This is a very simple equation to work out. It simply means that this government, and Azmin, has no strategy in preparing Malaysians or create an ecosystem for Malaysians to get the proper jobs, nor create any platform of investments that will truly benefit the people.

BusinessFirst: Sadly, the group I work for is closing down its Malaysian operations after five decades and distributing the work between Thailand, China and our new operations in Indonesia and India.

Some employees have worked there for four decades. A generous financial package is being prepared and no one gets less than one month for every year worked and that means for some it is more than three years' salary. Yet who is happy?

It is a great place to work. I can safely say it is a happy place to work with the usual work issues. Meals catered. Transport allowance provided. Work five days a week, Monday to Friday. Bonuses each year. It is a loss to the employees as well as the tax revenue paid each year.

Why are we closing? Malaysia is not competitive any more. Well, it should have been done a long time ago. But loyalty to old staff here kept it going.

Further, when Pakatan Harapan won, there was hope Malaysia would turn the corner, but after the fall of Harapan, corruption and “extras” are on the rise and it makes no economic sense to continue when for the same amount spent elsewhere you get at least double or triple the return on investment.

On top of that, the Covid-19 crisis and the lack of help or even consideration for businesses like ours was really the last straw.

It was not even monetary help needed as our business is a "lockdown" beneficiary. It is the poor logistics, bizarre SOPs (standard operating procedures), poor communication, corruption, etc, with the powers-that-be that has disrupted our supply chains and made things logistically challenging.

The poor response to the Covid-19 crisis has made the management and owners lose confidence in the business environment in Malaysia. That is a fact, and talking with other companies, is the consensus.

Not all will pull away like us completely, but I can assure you many are not expanding and in effect are downsizing.

In closing down, we will all miss the friendship made and familiarity bred among all races and nationalities, built up over the years. This is the real loss to all employees - Malays, Chinese, Indians, East Malaysians, Nepalis, Indonesians. Myanmar and Bangladeshis.

One thing we will not miss is high-handed officialdom, senseless non-business friendly policies including the bumiputera "rules".

And yes, lest I forget the many potholes that have damaged many cars and injured motorcyclists on the road leading to our operations. For a business that has contributed tens of millions in taxes every year for decades, is just a pothole-free road leading to the industrial park too much to ask?

Anonymous 13928521937351840: Give me a good reason why I would open my factory in Malaysia, whereby 80 percent of my workforce is foreign nationalities from Myanmar, Vietnam and Bangladesh?

And I have to pay exorbitant agent fees that we all know goes through a lot of hooplas that funnels money to middlemen and politicians’ pockets.

Why don’t I simply shift my factory to Myanmar, Vietnam and Bangladesh instead and hire the locals there at a fraction of the cost with probably the same or of higher quality?

I can then hire management level, knowledge-based staff from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and locally. Heck, I can pay them better than what I am paying them when my operation was in Malaysia from the money I saved paying to corrupted officials.

Give us a good reason and we will be staying, senior minister Azmin.

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