Malaysian prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaking at a press conference on Friday (1 June), denied accusations by opposition coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) that he had preempted his Cabinet when announcing the cancellation of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project.
Dr Mahathir noted that the issue has been part of Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) manifesto and they have been campaigning for it during the 14th General Election, saying, “How was I preempting? That was decided by the party from the very beginning. We campaigned on that issue and I’m not going to go away from the decision of the party simply because I can’t form Cabinet soon enough.”
The prime minister said that, in the mean time, he also sought to reassure investors that the country would remain a business friendly nation where all investors and companies will be accorded fair treatment.
An unnamed journalist accused the PH government of being “inconsistent” during the press conference, asking Dr Mahathir what he would do to protect the interests of foreign investors.
“Well, we can’t be afraid of inconsistencies because we have been in the government for only three weeks. You can’t assess us to be inconsistent. You have to give us a chance to be consistent. We want to be business friendly, it doesn’t matter which country you are from,” the prime minister answered.
“It doesn’t matter if you are local or foreign, all will be treated the same way. If there are any problems, let us know. This government will attend to it,” he added.
Dr Mahathir then simply pointed out that Malaysia’s rule of law will be the device when pressed on the mechanisms that will be utilised to protect foreign investment