Three reasons why Malaysia need to have stronger strategic relations with China

DAP Selangor treasurer Ong Kian Ming said Malaysia need strategic thinking in advancing policy goals during engagements with Chinese officials at various government levels.

He highlight three areas with examples in a statement.

Comprehensive and coordinated strategy

“Firstly, we need to have a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to attract high quality investments from China which can also integrate with the domestic supply chain,” he said.

Ong mentioned China’s US$47.5 billion “Big Fund” for its semiconductor industry, as an example, he highlighted that Malaysian firms specializing in IC design, advanced packaging, and specialty chemicals could benefit through R&D collaborations or Chinese joint ventures in Malaysia.

Strategic engagements

“Secondly, we need to have strategic engagements to unlock capital flows from Chinese investors in our capital markets and through Private Equity and Venture Capital funds based in China,” he said.

“Many of these investors, where they were allowed to invest abroad, would have been mostly focused in the larger and more developed markets in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

“But because of geo-political tensions and because of the growing importance of Southeast Asia for foreign direct investments, R&D and innovation, these investors are starting to look at Asean markets, including Malaysia,” he said.

Ong emphasized Malaysia’s need to provide unique incentives for investors to diversify investments across sectors. This requires continuous, high-level collaboration among financial regulators, Bursa Malaysia, and policymakers at the Ministry of Finance, he said.

Comprehensive strategy on how attract and manage the Chinese population

“Thirdly, we need to have a comprehensive strategy on how attract and manage the Chinese population who want to have longer term engagements in Malaysia,” he said.

He stressed the importance of having a comprehensive strategy, such as the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program, to draw in and oversee the Chinese population looking for extended stays in Malaysia.

Other appealing initiatives include medical tourism offerings through the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) and improved education programs, offering enhanced internship and full-time job prospects in key sectors like engineering, computer science, and AI, he added.

“This needs to be managed carefully as there will be irresponsible segments of society that will politicise such moves aimed specifically at individuals from China,” he said.

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