DON’T WORRY , WE ALSO WANT TRANSPARENCY – KIAN MING ON CONCERNS OVER CHINA’S BELT & ROAD AMID ECRL REVIVAL: ‘THIS IS PROBABLY THE GREATEST MOBILIZATION OF MEN & CAPITAL SINCE WORLD WAR II,’ SAYS MALAYSIA’S DEPUTY MINISTER

KUALA LUMPUR — Transparency tops Putrajaya’s priorities if it is to participate in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming said today.

The unprecedented amount of money involved in a project seen as Beijing’s push for global dominance calls for greater accountability and good governance, the Serdang MP said.

“This is probably the greatest mobilisation of men and capital since World War II,” Ong said at a forum organised by the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce here.

The Pakatan Harapan administration had said the communist republic will remain a top trade partner, despite a rocky start to their relationship over a slew of infrastructure projects involving Chinese state companies.

The two countries, which first established diplomatic relations at the height of the Cold War in 1974, marked a new phase in bilateral relations over the weekend following the negotiation success that saw Beijing and Putrajaya come to an agreement over the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.

The ECRL, which is among several large-scale infrastructure projects under the BRI, will commence after the developer agreed to cut the cost by RM21 billion.  

Today, Ong suggested the PH administration remains convinced of the initiative’s growth potential, but stressed a successful participation will hinge on Beijing’s willingness to work on a clear set of policy terms.

This includes outlining better governance and transparency standards, which the deputy minister said is crucial to keep projects under the initiative financially sustainable.

“It can help convince other governments,” Ong said.

MALAY MAIL

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