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KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah was the most successful state in attracting private investments in the first quarter of this year followed by Selangor, Johor, Sarawak and Terengganu, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir said private investments in the period in Sabah totalled RM10 billion, Johor (RM2.6 billion), Sarawak (RM2.3 billion) and Terengganu (RM1.4 billion), although the figure for Selangor was not stated.
"This shows that states under Barisan Nasional (BN) administration showed good performance in attracting investments," he said in reply to a supplementary question from Azmin Ali (Gombak-PKR).
Mukhriz attributed the high investments in Penang and Selangor -- two states ruled by the opposition alliance -- to the infrastructure previously developed there by the BN.
"These two states are investment destinations due to their complete infrastructure such as ports, roads, universities and utilities, which were definitely due to the efforts of the previous BN administration," he said.
To a question from Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (Lenggong-BN) on the country's latest investment performance, Mukhriz said Malaysia attracted RM17.9 billion in investments, including RM10.1 billion in domestic investments, for 268 projects in the manufacturing sector between January and April this year.
Last year Malaysia received investments worth RM56.1 billion in the manufacturing sector involving 846 projects, he said, adding the country also attracted RM32.9 billion in Foreign Direct Investments compared to RM29.3 billion in 2010 and RM5 billion in 2009.
He said the Bersih 3.0 gathering on April 28 did not have much impact on foreign investors' confidence in Malaysia because of the country's good economic policy.
"But it should be remembered that if such a gathering is held again in future, it could affect Malaysia's security and hence investments flowing into the country," he said.
Mukhriz said the Institute for Management Development (IMD) based in Lausanne, Switzerland ranked Malaysia 14th in economic competitiveness this year, up from 16th last year.
Steps taken to raise Malaysia's competitiveness included improving the public services system and enhancing transparency and accountability to promote a more sustainable private sector, he said.
IMD also found Malaysia has retained its second spot among countries with Gross Domestic Product per capita of less than US$2060,000, ahead of China and Chile, Mukhriz said, adding Malaysia also improved to 10th spot in the 2012 A.T. Kearney 2012 Foreign Direct Investor Confidence Index, from 20th in 2010. -- BERNAMA