China-Malaysia economic integration: Deal unravelling concerns hits 1MDB's Bandar Malaysia?

I shall keep an eye on news on impacts on Malaysia-China trade and investment ties. 

3-4 May 2017: Unravelling issues at big IMDB's KL property cum High Speed Rail terminus deal?

Editor's note: Unravelling of a major China deal in KL, Malaysia? This was part of the mooted regional railway hub (often depicted as a skyscraper) for CREC and the expected High Speed Rail KL terminus. KL chatter over the last few weeks has been rife about financing issues for the project; with skeptics pointing out that it was already a good deal with delayed payment terms on the land. Also note some moves on the KL-Singapore HSR project that talks of good chance for suppliers from Japan and South Korea; and Malaysia's India MOUs and deals seen as moves on China balance including a Maritime City project for Pulau Carey earlier targeted for China interests.

Source: The Edge Financial Daily, 4 May 2017

Iskandar Waterfront, CREC no longer master developers of Bandar Malaysia 3 May 2017 --  Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corperation (M) Sdn Bhd (CREC) are no longer the master developers of the RM200 billion Bandar Malaysia project due to their failure to meet the payment obligations, according TRX City Sdn Bhd, a unit under the Ministry of Finance (MOF)

Malaysia's $1.7 billion property deal to cut 1MDB debt falls through Wed May 3, 2017

News About 1mdb in

Discussion forum on BANDAR MALAYSIA | Kuala Lumpur (Jalan Sungai Besi, Ex-Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Redevelopment), 

Domestic viewpoints and news

Some 70% of Malaysians feel positive about China’s presence and investment in the country, according to a survey conducted by Merdeka Centre. Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the perception in gene­ral is positive despite some mixed responses by communal divide. Read more at

MALAYSIA’S MAHATHIR MOHAMAD ON WHY HE’S NOT ‘ANTI-CHINA’ - Malaysia’s former leader opens up about his bid to oust former protégé Najib Razak from power, 1 Apr 2017; how he’s not using China as a political bogeyman and why he can live with upsetting a sultan... BY BHAVAN JAIPRAGAS

Red Alert: Malaysian Nationalists Take Aim at Najib's Critics 3/31/2017 -- Members of a pro-government group known as the "Red Shirts" have assaulted and threatened critics of the Malaysian administration, as Prime Minister Najib Razak seeks to suppress criticism over the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB corruption scandal. Photo: AP

Kim Jong Nam's Body, Suspects Leave Malaysia 3/31/2017 -- Japanese media aired footage purportedly showing the casket of Kim Jong Nam, the slain half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and two of the suspects in the killing on a plane leaving Malaysia. Photo: NTV

Other China news

Short-term economic impact likely modest for China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ By: Jude Chan SINGAPORE (May 3): China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative is likely to have “modest” short-term impact on total investment and overall economic growth in the vast region, says Oxford Economics....In addition, He and Kuijs say OBOR is also not expected to have a major impact on mopping up excess capacity in China’s heavy industry, despite Chinese construction firms likely to benefit significantly from new opportunities for overseas infrastructure construction due to OBOR. xcess capacity in China’s steel industry ranges from 250 to 450 million tonnes per year, while the economists estimate that total annual OBOR spending would only generate around 22 million tonnes of annual steel demand at current prices.... So, what’s in it for China? “OBOR helps to boost China’s regional and global influence by providing ‘public goods’ and taking on significant financial risks that other investors would shy away from,” say He and Kuijs. “This will support long-term growth and development in the economies involved through better connectivity and cement China’s global influence,” they add....

China’s Once and Future Democracy; Despite Xi Jinping’s crackdown and Donald Trump’s silence on human rights, China has a vibrant democratic legacy that may yet reassert itself By ORVILLE SCHELL March 31, 2017 -- The growing distrust between China and the U.S. will be on full display next week as President Xi Jinping arrives at Mar-a-Lago in Florida for meetings with President Donald Trump. The tension isn’t just a result of Mr. Xi’s policies—a fierce crackdown on dissent, militarization of the South China Sea, intensifying protectionism. Nor is it just a matter of Mr. Trump’s combative campaign rhetoric against China and his early embrace of Taiwan....For many longtime American observers of the relationship, the worries run deeper...

A new freight train service links Xiamen with Moscow, making it the newest China-Europe freight train route.... Trade between Xiamen and Russia is complementary. Xiamen and its surrounding cities are export-oriented with machinery equipment and shoemaking industries, while it imports wood, paper pulp and vegetable oil from Russia.

Chinese-built railway help Ethiopia speed up industrialization (Xinhua) Updated: 2016-10-03

Chinese billionaires account for almost a quarter of the world's billionaires

India-Malaysia deals and news

India, Malaysia plan new port and “maritime city” for Kuala Lumpur 4 April 2017

Giant Carey Island port in the works BY HO WAH FOON 9 January 2017 -- On the funding for the project, Kong said: “We are open to interested parties from port operators, shipping lines and infrastructure developers. They can be from China, Japan, USA, UAE, India, etc.” “China is keen on developing the whole place. In China, every port is developing capacity now. We need to do something big to trade with them. Otherwise, we will be forever small,” said Kong. Read more at

Will Carey Island port lift Malaysia’s sea fortunes? BY A. RUBAN January 24, 2017 - See more at:

Cabinet okays Memorandum of Understanding with Malaysia for urea, ammonia supply BY PTI | UPDATED: MAY 03, 2017  Read more at:

MAICCI to crystallise M’sia-India business deals worth RM159bil BY PAUL GABRIEL 17 April 2017 Read more at

A major shift in M’sia-India ties BY PAUL GABRIEL IN NEW DELHI 6 April 2017 Read more at

Government denies being a ‘trade cheat’ 5 April 2017 Read more at

What Did the Malaysian Prime Minister's Visit Mean for India's 'Act East' Policy? What Najib Razak’s time in India tells us about Modi’s outreach to Southeast Asia. 7 April 2017,

Act East: India, Malaysia inch closer  16 Apr 2017 - Growth in trade, defence cooperation, and China’s aggressiveness are helping Indian and Malaysian interests converge

What Was Left Unsaid During Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s Visit to India BY SHARIFAH MUNIRAH ALATAS ON 07/04/2017 - A tense neighbourhood and China’s growing security presence in the Indian Ocean have given India and Malaysia much to discuss. 

India says looking into Zakir Naik’s Perkasa appearance - See more at:

Controversial cleric tells India: ‘Come find me in Malaysia’ - Despite being a fugitive in India, Dr Zakir Naik has been welcomed by some senior clerics in Malaysia, and even met Prime Minister Najib Razak last year APRIL 17, 2017

23 Mar 2017: Alibaba Malaysia hub, China reins in overseas investment criticizing “blind and irrational investment”, capital controls affect Forest City - SCMP reports  

Jack Ma has big business plans for Malaysia 23 March 2017 -- Read more at 

Penny stock software counters spike after Alibaba's overseas e-commerce Malaysian hub By Sangeetha Amarthalingam /   | March 23, 2017

Be afraid: China is on the path to global technology dominance 24 March, 2017
China’s New Limits on Money Outflows Hit a Would-Be Paradise 点击查看本文中文版 By NEIL GOUGH and CAO LIMARCH 24, 2017

How China’s overseas property dream turned into a nightmare - Capital controls mean people who signed up for flats in Malaysia cannot send money from mainland 20 March, 2017

Bandar Malaysia set to take shape, with initial $3.2b funding MAR 6, 2017 -- Ground works for Malaysia-Chinese project to start soon, amid concerns of property glut... Businessman Lim Kang Hoo, whose Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) secured rights in late 2015 as master developer of the project together with China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC), noted that the initial funding of RM10 billion (S$3.2 billion) has already been lined up. Ground works for infrastructure development will begin as soon as "two or three loose ends" with the Malaysian and Chinese governments are tied up in the coming weeks, he added....

After $225 Billion in Deals Last Year, China Reins In Overseas Investment 点击查看本文中文版 By KEITH BRADSHERMARCH 12, 2017

Peter Nolan on China's silk road strategy, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, 

16 Feb 2017: Will China be a factor in the elections? North Korea and assassination in KLIA2, questions on FDI and key projects rollout, Pedra Branca / Pulau Batu Puteh

  • Chatter in KL includes how FDI numbers are doing (some worries about it coming in slower), about the speed of Bandar Malaysia development (although it already has cashflow benefits from deferred payments to 2022?). On the IR front, the apparent assassination of the half-brother of the North Korean leader at the low budget KLIA2 terminal in KL. KL experts are watching China reaction to this event. On politics, China deals are garnering positive Malaysia headlines claiming benefits of such ties boosting some commodity trade.Analysts have their antennae up on issues of co-ethnic ties, and this is increasingly openly commented on as politicians are making their appeal to ethnic Chinese Malaysian voters in the run up to widely anticipated general elections in 2017.
  • Chatter in Singapore is about Malaysia reopening the Pedra Branca case, and the (surprise?) timely release of  information from the British archives within the ICJ time frame to reopen the case; but I'm told there are few precedents for the overturning of a judgment. Related and also catching Singapore readers attention is social media circulation of oil and gas bloggers notes about the Luconia Shoals (off Sarawak) and the hydrocarbon blocks of the Greater Sarawak Basin (and its value in relation to Badawi's USD 100 billion Brunei deal).  

Half-brother of North Korea leader assassinated in KL airport

China deploying troops at North Korea border after assassination By Elizabeth Shim  Contact the Author   |   Feb. 15, 2017

Malaysian airport assassination focuses new attention on North Korean leader By Anna Fifield February 15

Kim Jong-nam murder: Woman held over assassination of North Korean dictator's brother- amid claims he 'begged Kim Jong-un to spare his life'  Arthur Lim, kuala lumpur  Barney Henderson  Julian Ryall, tokyo  15 FEBRUARY 2017

More questions than answers in assassination of North Korean By FOSTER KLUG, ASSOCIATED PRESS SEOUL, South Korea — Feb 15, 2017

China factor in upcoming Malaysia national election

Will China be a factor in the elections? February 10, 2017 -- The China card - The reference to China, on the other hand, is significant if only for the mindset it reveals. It suggests that the Minister  who is notorious when he was a Sabah state minister  considers Malaysian Chinese more parochial than patriotic, that the Chinese community will overlook the bigotry and racial prejudice perpetrated against them as well as the injustice, corruption and scandal that have blighted our nation simply because they prize good relations with China.  cting on this belief, UMNO-BN ministers have assiduously sought to co-opt China into their elections strategy in the expectation that China’s ringing endorsement of the current Malaysian leadership will play out well with Malaysian Chinese. At the ground level, a senior UMNO minister even went so far as to accompany the Chinese Ambassador around as the ambassador distributed Chinese government assistance to Malaysian Chinese schools, something that was always frowned upon in the past.... For many, the 2015 Petaling Street affair – when senior UMNO leaders shamefully stood by and did nothing even as the Red Shirts threatened a bloodbath – was a turning point; it indicated that Malaysian Chinese could no longer count on UMNO-BN for their safety and survival.

Chinese ambassador donates RM200,000 to 11 schools BY THO XIN YI  13 February 2017

Also making the rounds in social media
  • The Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia in Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur (2015) 
  • The Chinese love this country FEBRUARY 3, 2017 Zaid Ibrahim -- Chinese Malaysians have been here for generations and they are culturally so very different from the citizens of China.... The Chinese community must be wary of the wrong advice they will be getting this election year. Their long-term prosperity and peaceful co-existence with the rest of Malaysia means that everyone needs to work together as one people to remove corruption, injustice and unfairness from the system...
  • PM Najib may have handed Luconia,Greater Sarawak oil and gas provinces to China: Loss to Malaysia may exceed Badawi's USD 100 billion Brunei deal 

Why China is different February 3, 2017 - One thing is clear enough: by almost any reckoning China is unlike any other country we deal with.  By Dennis Ignatius.

Malaysia’s China conundrum January 13, 2017 China’s ravenous appetite for Malaysian infrastructure assets has resulted in yet another multibillion ringgit deal. In early January, a RM6.3 billion deal to redevelop and expand Penang Port was signed between two Chinese port operators (Shenzhen Yantian Port Group and Rizhao Port Group) and local partner, KAJ Development, a relatively unknown reportedly state-owned company incorporated in 2001. According to press reports, the project would increase the port’s ship handling capacity to 100,000 ships per year....

Lecturer: No Chinese takeover of Bandar Malaysia by Khairil Ashraf | October 30, 2016 - Policies in place for Malaysian control over land, but the developer has control of the property

More positive economic view all around

China Will Avoid a Bank Crisis, Reach High Income Status: Morgan Stanley by Enda Curran February 14, 2017

China capable of achieving steady GDP growth in 2017: Standard Chartered Xinhua | 2017-02-15

Pedra Branca / Pulau Batu Puteh and Luconia Shoals

REVEALED: MALAYSIA’S ‘NEW EVIDENCE’ IN ISLAND ROW AGAINST SINGAPORE Kuala Lumpur hopes a letter by a colonial official, a naval incident report, and a map of the Lion City in 1966 will be enough to overturn international court’s ruling on the rocky outcrop known as Pedra Branca BY BHAVAN JAIPRAGAS 9 FEB 2017

ICJ releases Malaysia's application for revision of Pulau Batu Puteh judgement Read more at 

Malaysia applies for revision of ICJ's Pedra Branca decision; Singapore studying application Posted 03 Feb 2017

Timing of Malaysian challenge on Pedra Branca could be way of 'garnering votes' ahead of elections: Experts - Analysts point to a political dimension in Malaysia’s attempt to challenge Singapore’s sovereignty of the island.  By Justin Ong  Posted 10 Feb 2017

Around 100 China Ships Encroaching Malaysia’s Waters: Minister - Around 100 China-registered vessels said to be detected in the Luconia Shoals in the South China Sea. By Prashanth Parameswaran March 25, 2016

A hundred Chinese boats encroach in Malaysian waters: minister Mar 25, 2016 -- About 100 Chinese fishing boats have been detected encroaching in Malaysia's waters in the disputed South China Sea, Malaysia's state news agency and a coastguard official said on Friday.

4 Feb 2017: Fitch on China's OBOR. So what could go wrong?

27 Jan 2017: Ageing China needs to integrate with young countries? China’s escalating crackdown on capital outflows - its property buyers pull back

26 Jan 2017: Trade likely to rise to US$100b, Malacca port not Chinese military naval base, Mahathir criticised for racist politics, Iskandar property good and bad news, fears of ghost towns, political spats, China’s Debt-Trap Diplomacy?

Editor's note: Also refer to Khor Reports facebook: Singapore Forest City? I was just chatting with a friend on what China bloggers are saying about Forest City... 25 Jan 2017 and KL social media reports rumours of China interests to take stake in key Malaysia palm oil plantation companies... 21 Jan 2017... 

  • Why Are China's Submarines Visiting Malaysia? A brief look at how to read the latest naval engagement between the two sides. By Prashanth Parameswaran January 04, 2017
  • Chinese Submarine’s Malaysian Port Call Signals Regional Power Shift Jan. 6, 2017  - Visit came as two Russian warships docked in the Philippines and Moscow offered to sell Manila weaponry By JEREMY PAGE in Beijing and  JAKE MAXWELL WATTS in Singapore

Malaysia news

Majority of Malaysians welcome China’s presence here BY RAHIMY RAHIM 23 April 2017 

Red Alert: Malaysian Nationalists Take Aim at Najib's Critics 3/31/2017 -- Members of a pro-government group known as the "Red Shirts" have assaulted and threatened critics of the Malaysian administration, as Prime Minister Najib Razak seeks to suppress criticism over the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB corruption scandal. Photo: AP

Kim Jong Nam's Body, Suspects Leave Malaysia 3/31/2017 -- Japanese media aired footage purportedly showing the casket of Kim Jong Nam, the slain half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and two of the suspects in the killing on a plane leaving Malaysia. Photo: NTV

China global news

China’s Once and Future Democracy; Despite Xi Jinping’s crackdown and Donald Trump’s silence on human rights, China has a vibrant democratic legacy that may yet reassert itself By ORVILLE SCHELL March 31, 2017 -- The growing distrust between China and the U.S. will be on full display next week as President Xi Jinping arrives at Mar-a-Lago in Florida for meetings with President Donald Trump. The tension isn’t just a result of Mr. Xi’s policies—a fierce crackdown on dissent, militarization of the South China Sea, intensifying protectionism. Nor is it just a matter of Mr. Trump’s combative campaign rhetoric against China and his early embrace of Taiwan....For many longtime American observers of the relationship, the worries run deeper...

Chinese-built railway help Ethiopia speed up industrialization (Xinhua) Updated: 2016-10-03

Alibaba to set up logistics hub in Malaysia's new digital free trade zone By Sumisha Naidu  Posted 22 Mar 2017 -- The hub, expected to be launched end-2019, "will function as a centralized customs clearance, warehousing and fulfilment facility for Malaysia and the region, to deliver faster clearance for imports and exports," Alibaba said in a statement... Malaysia says it has the potential to double the growth rate of local SME's goods exports by 2025, as well as create 60,000 jobs by then. "SMEs contribute 37 per cent GDP today - 97 per cent of our businesses are SMEs and microenterprises - but from 37 per cent it can grow up to 60 per cent and even 80 per cent,” said Najib....The first phase of the Digital Free Trade Zone involves developing a regional e-commerce and logistics hub near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport....

How China’s overseas property dream turned into a nightmare - Capital controls mean people who signed up for flats in Malaysia cannot send money from mainland PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 March, 2017 -- How China’s overseas property dream turned into a nightmareCapital controls mean people who signed up for flats in Malaysia cannot send money from mainland... Forest City was the subject of one the biggest advertising campaigns China has seen. Commercials extolling the lure of a tropical island home were broadcast on state television, placed on billboards at railway stations and played time and again in apartment lifts. The company even set up sales centres in dozens of mainland cities to promote the project, but they all were closed “for renovation” early this month...    Zhang discovered this year that no bank on the mainland would help her pay for her overseas property dream. When she attempted to transfer money to the vendor’s bank account in Hong Kong in January, her local bank told her the Hong Kong account was “not correct”. However, she had managed to pay 20 per cent of the amount she owed for the property to the same Hong Kong account in October. She told the Post she was now trapped in limbo and was trying to get a refund. Other purchasers are taking the same course of action. “Now we understand all further instalments need to be paid abroad. But this is not allowed due to the foreign exchange controls from the Chinese government,” said another Forest City purchaser, Vicky Wu from Guangzhou. “If we do so, we will be put on the government’s black list.”.....  

A model of Bandar Malaysia. The integrated township will house the terminus for the planned high-speed rail connecting Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Note: Reader comment to note this Cambridge professor's explanation and comment on how unfair UNCLOS law of the sea is.

Now, China — with a worried eye on the money leaving its borders — is telling some of its companies to cool it down..... On Saturday, in the strongest public signal yet that Beijing is changing course, China’s commerce minister castigated what he called “blind and irrational investment.” At a news briefing during the annual meeting of China’s congress, the minister, Zhong Shan, said officials planned to intensify supervision of what he called a small number of companies. “Some enterprises have already paid the price,” said Mr. Zhong, a protégé of President Xi Jinping. “Some even have had a negative impact on our national image.”...

Malaysia reclaims position as top exporter of palm oil to China 3 February 2017
(Note: Crude palm oil - Malaysia has more of a focus on exporting crude product. Indonesia has more focus on export of processed product, China traders report Indonesia share of China palm oil imports at over 55% for 2016).

On economic integration with China
(also see social media links above)

Fitch on China's OBOR. So what could go wrong? OBOR projects are supposed to be run on market-based principles and provide returns for shareholders, but Fitch Ratings says that OBOR projects do not need to prove the project’s commercial viability that would typically be required to attract domestic or foreign investors....“After all, Chinese banks do not have a track record of allocating resources efficiently at home, especially in relation to infrastructure projects – they are unlikely to have more success overseas. The implied backing of projects by the Chinese government could also add to complacency,” said the report.... At the same time, the political motivations behind the OBOR projects may not address genuine infrastructure needs. China is looking to secure access to key commodities and enlarge its international influence, while local politicians may be more interested in getting involved with large iconic projects than looking out for the interests of the country....

Fitch: China's One Belt, One Road Initiative Brings Risks 25 JAN 2017

The World's Most Populous Country Is Turning Gray by Bloomberg News, January 26, 2017, Shrinking labor force would create a drag on consumption. Lopsided population balance puts strain on economic growth.

World’s Biggest Real Estate Buyers Are Suddenly Short on Cash by Bloomberg News January 27, 2017 -- Property sales from London to California wobble on China curbs. Stronger capital controls are deterring first-time purchases. China’s escalating crackdown on capital outflows is sending shudders through property markets around the world. In London, Chinese citizens who clamored to purchase flats at the city’s tallest apartment tower three months ago are now struggling to transfer their down payments. In Silicon Valley, Keller Williams Realty says inquiries from China have slumped since the start of the year. And in Sydney, developers are facing “big problems” as Chinese buyers pull back, according to consultancy firm Basis Point. “Everything changed’’ as it became more difficult to send money offshore, said Coco Tan, a broker at Keller Williams in Cupertino, California. 

Minister: Malaysia-China trade likely to rise to US$100b this year January 23, 2017 - See more at:

China overtakes Japan in Indonesia direct investment - Chinese money flowing into the country grew fivefold from a year ago by WATARU SUZUKI and ERWIDA MAULIA, Nikkei staff writers January 25, 2017;

Hishammuddin: Malacca port not Chinese military naval base January 25, 2017 - See more at:

Earlier related news:

HAS CHINA OFFERED TO BAIL OUT MALAYSIA’S 1MDB? AT WHAT COST? China’s economic largesse to Malaysia was back in the spotlight on Wednesday following an apparent renewed effort by Beijing to bail out the Southeast Asian country’s beleaguered 1MDB state investment fund. Political observers say… BY BHAVAN JAIPRAGAS 7 DEC 2016

Impact on domestic economy and projects (crowding-in and crowding-out)

Will Carey Island port lift Malaysia’s sea fortunes? BY A. RUBAN January 24, 2017 - See more at:

Malaysia’s Carey Island a wild card in Southeast Asian port scene by Vincent Wee - Malaysia's latest Carey Island project is something of a wild card but is not expected to change the port scene in Southeast Asia too much.

Port Klang plans giant facility to compete with Singapore, but analysts sceptical  JAN 10, 2017, 5:00 AM SGT

Giant Carey Island port in the works BY HO WAH FOON 9 January 2017 Read more at

Slower volume growth seen for Westports 13 January 2017 Read more at

Both good and bad news for Iskandar Malaysia By Al Gerard de la Cruz on January 20, 2017 -- Although there was a 5 to 10 percent downward adjustment in landed home prices last year, “the worst is over” for this segment, according to Tan Ka Leong, a director at CBRE-WTW in Johor Bahru. “I believe we will not see much further downward adjustment this year.” On the flipside, demand in the high-rise residential segment will be diluted by an incoming supply of 19,000 units this year, the consultancy warned. The existing supply in Iskandar Malaysia stood at 43,898 units last year or a 16 percent increase from 2015. Absorption of the resulting oversupply in the region could take around five to six years, leading to an adjustment of as much as 30 percent in high-rise home values. “That’s assuming there is zero additional supply going forward — so high-rise segment would not stabilise so soon,” Tan said. The glut in the supply of high-rise apartments may eventually reach 30,000 units.

Expert sees spectre of ghost towns in Johor by Robin Augustin | January 24, 2017 -- Many of the buildings being constructed in the Iskandar region may be left unoccupied, says a veteran property consultant.... “Just Forest City alone is estimated to be able to house some 700,000 people,” he said. “Who will take up these houses? Johoreans? That is unlikely. There are fewer than two million locals in Johor Bahru, and that’s a generous estimate. Many of them already own houses.” He noted that some people expected Singapore and Chinese nationals to move in, but he said it was doubtful that enough of them would do so. “Singaporeans who are rich wouldn’t want to move to Iskandar as they can live anywhere else around the world. Those who aren’t rich may not find it feasible to move to Iskandar and commute across the island every day. It is costly and time consuming.”....  He also said it was doubtful that Singaporeans wishing to migrate would choose to move to Malaysia. “People usually want to migrate to places where they believe the grass is greener. Why would Singaporeans, who enjoy a higher standard of living there, want to come here? It doesn’t make sense.” As for Chinese nationals, Cheong said Iskandar would be just one of the many places they would have properties in.... He said many rich Chinese had a number of properties in cities around the world and would look at Iskandar as a place to invest in rather than to relocate to. “So, even if all the units being developed by Chinese companies are sold, who will stay there? “There is a demand for affordable housing from locals, but the Chinese developers aren’t building affordable housing. How many can afford to buy or rent these places?”....

Country Garden stays upbeat on Forest City BY AMIR HISYAM RASID 27 DECEMBER 2016

Penang investment chief denies Temasek ended RM1.3b business park venture BY OPALYN MOK  January 25, 2017 -- Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon who heads both the PDC and Invest-in-Penang said the state is in an “ongoing live discussion” with the Singaporean investment company on how to move the project forward in a viable manner. “We are not only reviewing the plans, we are looking at the costs and at the composition of the project,” he told a press conference at Komtar. He also stressed that the project was not “postponed indefinitely” but that they are looking at the feasibility of the whole project including its residential component. “The joint-venture is to build four blocks of buildings, two to house GBS offices and two for residential for the workers to live near the offices,” he said. GBS stands for global business services. - See more at:

Liow: RM1.13b in projects to decongest port BY A JALIL HAMID - 11 SEPTEMBER 2016 -- AS transport minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai oversees air, rail, road and sea and river transportation and transportation issues. Just about anything that moves in Malaysia is touched by his ministry. But his next game plan is to beef up Malaysia’s logistics sector, key in driving the country’s trade-dependent economy. The link between economic growth and demand for product-transporting services is the result of various effects. These effects can clearly show the growing significance of the economic sector of goods distribution. Speaking on the 9th floor of the MCA head office in Kuala Lumpur, Liow, who is also MCA president, talked about the progress being made by the National Logistics Task Force, which he chairs.
Read More :

Abdul Rahman: Dr M doesn't understand China deals 16 November 2016 | MYT 9:09 PM

Rafizi: Malaysian firm in ERCL project a RM2 company BY A. RUBAN

Liow, why gov't borrowing RM55b if East Coast Rail costs less? Tony Pua 7 Nov 2016, Read more:

Release ECRL feasibility study, say opposition MPs By Chester Tay /   | November 2, 2016

China set to build, finance Malaysia's East Coast Rail Line project 31 Oct 2016

Malaysia, China to sign contract for RM55bil East Coast Railway on Tuesday 31 October 2016 Read more at

Confirmed: East Coast Rail Link project to be built, funded by China BY LOKMAN MANSOR - 31 OCTOBER 2016

Trump Has 1.3 Billion Reasons Not to Pick a Big Fight With China by Bloomberg News January 26, 2017 - Xi has little room to make concessions before party congress, China leaders already fanning national pride, stressing unity

China’s Debt-Trap Diplomacy JAN 23, 2017 13 by BRAHMA CHELLANEY  -- Of course, extending loans for infrastructure projects is not inherently bad. But the projects that China is supporting are often intended not to support the local economy, but to facilitate Chinese access to natural resources, or to open the market for low-cost and shoddy Chinese goods. In many cases, China even sends its own construction workers, minimizing the number of local jobs that are created.... Several of the projects that have been completed are now bleeding money. For example, Sri Lanka’s Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, which opened in 2013 near Hambantota, has been dubbed the world’s emptiest. Likewise, Hambantota’s Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port remains largely idle, as does the multibillion-dollar Gwadar port in Pakistan. For China, however, these projects are operating exactly as needed: Chinese attack submarines have twice docked at Sri Lankan ports, and two Chinese warships were recently pressed into service for Gwadar port security.

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma says the US wasted trillions on warfare instead of investing in infrastructure by Jay Yarow 18 Jan 2017 -- Ma called outsourcing a "wonderful" and "perfect" strategy... "The American multinational companies made millions and millions of dollars from globalization," Ma said. "The past 30 years, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, they've made tens of millions — the profits they've made are much more than the four Chinese banks put together. ... But where did the money go?" ... He said the U.S. is not distributing, or investing, its money properly, and that's why many people in the country feel wracked with economic anxiety. He said too much money flows to Wall Street and Silicon Valley. Instead, the country should be helping the Midwest, and Americans "not good in schooling," too....

China reactions to Malaysia domestic questions

Chinese Net users react with shock after Malaysia ex-PM's anti-China comments Source:Global Times Published: 2017/1/19

Political slander sours Sino-Malaysian ties By Su Tan Source:Global Times Published: 2017/1/19 23:48:40

Embassy: Malaysia reciprocity can not be slandered "Chinese job grab rice bowl" theory is a big lie January 10, 2017

Impact on Malaysia domestic politics

China ambassador upbeat about ties with Malaysia 26 January 2017

Liow regrets Dr M using racial approach to garner support January 24, 2017 - See more at:

Najib: Dr Mahathir's comments on Forest City are slanderous 20 January 2017 Read more at

Citing Trump, Dr M says against mass immigration from China January 20, 2017 - See more at:

Beijing rebuts critics who say it is stealing locals' rice bowls JAN 15, 2017, 5:00 AM SGT
Some critics of the improving ties have accused Prime Minister Najib Razak of selling out Malaysia's interests... But the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur, which has not shied away from wading into domestic issues, issued a statement last week to rebut the opposition claims.... The controversy began shortly after Datuk Seri Najib returned from a week-long trip to China in November with RM144 billion (S$46 billion) worth of investment pledges and soft loans from Beijing.... An ebullient Mr Najib declared that the China funds would serve as a boost for the struggling economy, a stand dismissed by his critics who mostly charged that Malaysia could ill-afford such huge loans....The latest criticism came from former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who, in an interview with Malaysia's Chinese newspapers last Monday, said that the entry of Chinese companies would take away the rice bowls of both Malay and ethnic Chinese Malaysians. "I'm sure Chinese Malaysians won't feel comfortable seeing mainland Chinese come here with tonnes of cash to buy up Bandar Malaysia and make us work for them," said Tan Sri Muhyiddin.

Wee: Chinese investments would bring opportunities to M’sian SMEs 18 January 2017

Muhyiddin: To me, loyalty is not blind 18 January 2017 | MYT 9:59 PM

MALAYSIA 1MDB SCANDAL - MAHATHIR VERSUS THE SULTAN: HOW CHINESE INVESTMENT COULD SWAY MALAYSIAN ELECTION A row between Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and the influential Sultan of Johor has put the issue of foreign influence in the country centre stage BY BHAVAN JAIPRAGAS 18 JAN 2017

MB backs Johor sultan’s criticism of Dr M’s ‘racist politics’ January 17, 2017 - See more at:

Malaysia backlash over vast Chinese development - Former PM Mahathir clashes with sultan over $38bn Forest City project  JANUARY 16, 2017 by: Jeevan Vasagar in Singapore

Johor Sultan slams Dr Mahathir for playing ‘politics of fear and race JANUARY 16, 2017

25 January 2017 By Tony Pua  On behalf of DAP, and together with a few of my colleagues, we have visited various Chinese media outlets to deliver 2 boxes of mandarin oranges to wish them a Happy Rooster Year. One of the questions we kept getting asked by the editors was, "why are you all so  opposed to China investment?" Each time, I had to explain, we are not opposed to China investments or investments from any other country.  BUT: 1. They must be "investments"  - which means China pays for it. It should not be Malaysians who pay, but framed as China investment. For e.g., the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) - it's NOT a China investment, it's the Malaysian govt awarding the RM55bn contract to a China-owned company.....MCA can politicise race and stir up emotions, blaming us for being cautious with the China investment brouhaha.  In doing so they are exposing their hypocrisy and pawning away the interest of the country...... But I, and my fellow comrades in DAP are Malaysian First. The interest of our country must take top priority, China "investment" or otherwise....

China’s Global Times: Chinese shocked and irked by Dr M’s claims 23 January 2017

Dr Mahathir opposes Malaysia-Singapore high speed rail project Jan 24, 2017

THE REAL REASON MALAYSIA’S MAHATHIR IS TAKING ON THE SULTAN OF JOHOR - A clash between a former prime minister and a revered monarch over a Chinese backed development is just the surface of an issue festering in the heart of Malaysian politics BY MUSTAFA IZZUDDIN 22 JAN 2017

Johor Chief Minister accuses Dr M of scaremongering JANUARY 23, 2017

Dr Mahathir again slams China investments in Forest City Jan 23, 2017 - See more at:

5 areas for caution in accepting investments from China by Liew Chin Tong, January 13, 2017 - As China needs Malaysia more than we need them, the government should be choosy about what sort of investment it wants from China, so as to ensure it is mutually beneficial and not one-sided as at present.

MCA working with, not for, China, says Liow 26 January 2017 Read more at

Liew rapped for Mbrace post - 21 January 2017 - MCA’s recently set-up Belt and Road Centre (Mbrace) in support of China.... MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, in hitting out at the Kluang MP, said the party’s conti­nuous efforts to promote China’s Belt and Road initiative was crucial in helping Malaysians seize business opportunities and secure Chinese investments....

DAP’s Liew Chin Tong out to discredit MCA for political self-interest 24 Jan 2017 - Remarks by DAP political education director Liew Chin Tong that “MCA acts as China’s agent” are unwarranted and must be condemned. They are malicious attacks and seek to discredit MCA’s efforts in advancing Malaysia-China relations and assisting Malaysian businesses venture into overseas markets.... (says) the MCA PRC affairs committee by Chuah Poh Khiang
Read more:

Early January news items

Bauxite mining poisoning of farming - Kuantan's durian harvest is in peril, and here's why. Environmental controversy follows as China's appetite for raw resources from Malaysia and around the world grows.

China Railway already runs services between China and other European cities, including Madrid and Hamburg. The train will take about two weeks to cover the 12,000 mile journey and is carrying a cargo of clothes, bags and other household items. It has the advantage of being cheaper than air freight and faster than sea.

Penang Port to be expanded under China-Malaysia JV - FMT Reporters | January 5, 2017

Pribumi slams China investments 10 January 2017

The international fallout from Najib’s 1MDB scandal 4 January 2017 Author: Amrita Malhi, ANU

"Chinafication of Malaysia" graphic, received via social media, early January 2017, original source unknown

Other news

China clamps down on corrupt officials with 122 arrests this year Over 2bn yuan in lost funds reclaimed by anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection by Marc Walker and agencies Saturday 31 December 2016 15.44 GMT

Ambassador Huang's donation to SJKCs 17 Feb 2016

Australian farmer causes storm in South China Sea territorial dispute, ABC South East NSW By Bill Brown 8 Aug 2016 -- When he is not on his farm in the high country of south-east New South Wales, Hans Berekoven is an amateur marine archaeologist recovering artefacts from a shipwreck for a Malaysian museum. He said during one trip, he had been harassed by a Chinese Coast Guard vessel that had been stationed off Luconia Shoals for the past few years. The shoals are a cluster of reefs and a tiny island called the Luconia Breakers, 84 nautical miles off Malaysia's Borneo coast.

China Coast Guard ship at Luconia Shoals Posted 8 Aug 2016, 5:45am - A China Coast Guard ship nearby Hans Berekoven's dive boat at Luconia Shoals, 84 nautical miles off Malaysia's Borneo coast

Luconia Shoals Posted 8 Aug 2016, 5:45am - The view from Hans Berekoven's dive boat of the Luconia Breakers, with a China Coast Guard ship visible on the far side of the tiny island.

China’s envoy to Malaysia visits Petaling Street day before rally September 25, 2015

Did China subtly warn Malaysia? by  Karamjit Gill  7 Oct 2015

But did anyone ask the ambassador to intervene? October 3, 2015 Malaysians should together indulge in some soul searching.