Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad today said, he will seek to cancel the multibillion-dollar Chinese-backed infrastructure projects that were signed by his predecessor Najib Razak.
He said this in an interview with news agency Associated Press before heading to Beijing for his first visit after his election. Mr Mahathir said, he wants to maintain good relations with China and welcomes its investment, so long as the projects benefit Malaysia. He said the Chinese-backed energy pipelines and a rail project are not viable.
Malaysia’s new government has already suspended work on the projects, being built by Chinese state-backed companies, and called for drastic cuts in their ballooning cost. The Malaysian Prime Minister also urged China to respect the free movement of ships throughout the South China Sea, where China and other Southeast Asian nations including Malaysia have competing claims on islands and reefs along with the rich fishing grounds and potential fossil fuel deposits around them.