Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Naked Emperor

Amazing. In the midst of damning data highlighting the decline of Malaysia as an attractive destination for foreign direct investments, our Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz had the cheek to claim that "Malaysia has managed to build a competitive edge over other countries to win foreign direct investment (FDI)".
She said while there was intense competition from China, India, Latin America and other Asean countries, Malaysia had managed to build a competitive edge against those countries. “We depend on FDIs to spur growth in key sectors. The manufacturing sector continues to lead the way,” she said.

Rafidah said Malaysia was on track to becoming a developed nation and industrialised country and meeting the Vision 2020 objectives.
If my 3-part posts on "Malaysia Gets Marginalised" using data from the World Investment Report produced by the United Nations Conference of Trade & Development (UNCTAD) in 2005 isn't damning enough, the 2006 data released earlier this month showed further decline.

FDI into Malaysia declined further from US$4.0 billion to US$3.9 billion. Thailand replaced Indonesia as the country which attracted the 2nd highest level of FDI in Southeast Asia after Singapore. Singapore, on the other hand, despite already being the top FDI desitination in the region with US$20 billion in 2005, increased it by another US$10 billion to in excess of US$30 billion.

These latest data from UNCTAD were recently published in the Singapore's Straits Times (obviously gloating on its achievement) on 11th January, were however not given any space at all in the Malaysian media.

So, Datuk Seri Rafidah, is our Government now like the naked emperor, who insists, despite what is obvious to the public that "Malaysia has managed to build a competitive edge over other countries to win foreign direct investment"?
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