As someone who once “sold” Malaysia to Western investors, it is hypocritical of former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin to now cry wolf over Chinese investments, sniped BN strategic communications director Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
“I ask that Muhyiddin not to be hypocritical in telling us to say no investors from China, but say nothing about ‘omputeh’ (Western) investors. People might think it is racist,” Abdul Rahman posted on his Twitter account today.
Abdul Rahman was using the colloquial Malaysian term “omputeh“, which is a corrupted slang derived from the Malay term “Orang Putih” (white people).
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department was commenting on the adversarial stance taken by Muhyiddin’s party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), over investments from China being pursued by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s administration.
The opposition, including Bersatu, has been speaking out against the Chinese investments, worried that it may lead to Malaysia being at the beck and call of the world superpower in its chess game of global politics and hegemony over the South China Sea.
In any case, Abdul Rahman recalled that when Muhyiddin was part of the BN-led federal government, he too pursued foreign investment aggressively, specifically “inviting” Western investors to come to Malaysia without mention of any worry over our sovereignty.
“Last time I followed Muhyiddin to London to campaign for investors to come to Malaysia. Muhyiddin himself was very aggressive in asking the ‘omputeh‘ to invest here,” he said in another tweet.
The Kota Belud MP argued that Bersatu must have a cogent policy on the economy of its own if it takes such pot-shots at the BN-led government’s initiatives.
“I want to ask Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia leaders, where is your official economic policy?” he asked in another tweet, and in a parting shot asked Bersatu leaders not to spend too much time jockeying for the president’s post.
The newly-formed Bersatu went through an upheaval recently as several members quit, while Anina Saadudin, once tipped to be its women’s wing chief, was later relieved of the post. Observers believe this may be part of a realignment of power, if not an outright struggle for influence.
Muhyiddin is jealous
Meanwhile, MCA publicity bureau chairperson Chai Kim Sen also trained his guns on Muhyiddin over the latter’s criticism that investment from China may disrupt the rice bowl of locals, as reported in the vernacular press.
Chai said that Muhyiddin can say what he wants, but neither he nor the opposition can provide the billions of ringgit as well as technological transfers and other accompanying benefits, that the investments had brought to the country.
Rather than just speaking out against the investments from China, Chai challenged Muhyiddin to explain how the investments may disrupt the livelihood of Malaysians.
“There is just so much jealousy contained from within Muhyiddin and Bersatu’s camp that they are simply unable to refrain from sinking so low of playing up the race card to draw support.
“Despite knowing too well they do not have any support from the ground given Dr Mahathir Mohammad’s infamy,” said Chai in a statement.
He too pointed out that it was hypocritical of Muhyiddin to speak out against investments from China as he too pursued them, when he was cabinet minister.
In 2014, Muhyiddin, then the deputy prime minister was one of those who asked for greater economic and business ties between Malaysia and China, while part of a Malaysian trade mission to the Middle Kingdom.