Ong: 3 investors pulled out since GE

By P PREM KUMAR & DASHVEENJIT KAUR / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

Three foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the manufacturing sector with an investment value of RM16.4 million have ceased operations since the change in government after the 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9.

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming (picture) said the three projects have either ceased, suspended or transferred their manufacturing operations from Malaysia between May and the end of June.

“These investments are regarded as small-scale projects based on the value of the investment involved,” he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, in response to MP Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (Barisan Nasional-Larut) who asked about withdrawal of FDIs in Malaysia since GE14.

Ong said among the factors that have caused the foreign investors to withdraw their investments from Malaysia, include market uncertainties and increased local labour costs.

“Economic uncertainties globally has also forced investors to restructure their companies and business strategies, and to a certain extent some decided to withdraw their investments abroad including in Malaysia.

“Besides this, the transition of technology into digital era and Industry 4.0 have also caused investors, especially in the labour-intensive industries to redirect their investments,” he added.

The ministry, according to Ong, is focusing on quality and high-tech investments to encourage high technology-intensive projects to continue to operate and compete in Malaysia.

He said foreign fund outflows from May 2018 to July 14, 2018, have not been as severe as they made up to only a loss of 0.7% from the whole market value of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI).

“The foreign investment outflows between May and July 14, 2018, stood at RM11.8 billion out of the total RM1.8 trillion market cap of FBM KLCI.

“It is not that huge a number as foreign investors holdings in the country are still stable at 23.65% or RM418 billion of the total capital market,” Ong said.