TOKYO, The Malaysian government, in reviewing China-related projects in Malaysia, wants to remain friendly to the economic superpower without being indebted to it, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

Ever since the first visit to China by Malaysia’s second prime minister (Abdul Razak), we have conducted good relations with China. It is a big and powerful country and our policy is to remain friendly with China, he said at a dialogue with Japanese media at Japan’s National Press Club here.

Dr Mahathir said the previous government was fond of borrowing large sums of money and the only country willing to lend was China.

We will be friendly to China but we don’t want to be indebted to China, he added.

Dr Mahathir, who is currently on a three-day working visit to Japan, was asked about his views on China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative and the Forest City project in Johor.

We are a small country. Whether we object to or not, China will go ahead with its plans. What we have to do is make the best use of China’s policy. We will try to make sure that it is not exclusive, that other people can use the same route.

With regards to development in Johor which was started by a private Chinese company, generally we don’t believe foreign direct investment (FDI) includes developing Malaysia to bring foreigners in and settle in our country.

They can develop (the project), but we will not allow foreigners to come and settle in our country. All countries practice the same thing. Even America is building a wall against Mexico. They want to keep their country to themselves. So does every other country.

Malaysia has a right to deny entry of immigrants into Malaysia. we will have to deal with this problem if the plan is going ahead, Dr Mahathir said.

Source: NAM News Network

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