PUTRAJAYA (May 17): The National Recovery Council (MPN) on Tuesday proposed that the government exempt foreigners from Bumiputera equity ownership conditions for land acquisitions that exceed RM20 million involving investment in the services sector, for two years — the estimated period needed to get Malaysia's economy on a better footing after the damage wrought by Covid-19.
MPN's proposal stems from a government finding that foreign investments worth RM58 billion could not be realized and had to be foregone because of investor constraints in meeting the equity condition.
MPN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin pointed out that the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) had reported that foreign investments worth RM58 billion could not be realized due to investor constraints in meeting the condition.
“This condition can be re-imposed when the post-pandemic economy has fully recovered. Such measures have been taken by the Government before, when the country is facing an economic crisis,” he said in a statement following an MPN meeting.
Muhyiddin noted that the country has managed to attract RM306.5 billion in investments in 2021, despite constraints caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic.
He said among international companies investing in Malaysia are Intel Corp from the United States, SK Nexilis Co Ltd from South Korea and Porsche and Mercedes Benz from Germany.
“In this regard, the council is of the view that the proposed strategy is supported, but should place emphasis on reviewing existing investment incentives and improving the investment ecosystem.
“[This] includes considering some flexibility deemed appropriate to optimize its impact and enhance national competitiveness in supporting national recovery efforts."
Looking ahead, Muhyiddin listed three developments that should be closely monitored and urged the country to remain vigilant to present day global challenges, as MPN continues its recovery efforts to further boost economic growth.
The developments are the War in Ukraine, the status of Covid-19 in China with the risk of prolonged lockdown, as well as the risk of the emergence of new Covid-19 variants.
“The council is also of the view that continued efforts need to be made to ensure that economic sectors recover evenly and high-impact employment opportunities are created. The people's economy must be given priority so that nothing is left behind in the country's recovery efforts,” he added.