“If you have a contract in Malaysia, and if you have some problems with it, we can help to look into the contract on whether there’s anything we can do to reduce the cost for you,” Dr Mahathir told a dialogue session with Chinese corporate leaders here.
“The previous government entered into very many different contracts, some of which are so expensive that the present government is unable to carry on [with them].
“Hence, we have negotiated with some of the companies which have contracts in Malaysia. I’m glad to say that they understand our problems and they have been able to reduce the cost of the contracts, as well as the scope of the work to be done,” he added.
The prime minister stressed that the country’s policies on foreign investments will remain the same, despite the change in government.
“Malaysia is a very stable country. We don’t change [the business policies] very much. So, you can be very comfortable with the rules, laws and practices there.
“We have a government which is business-friendly. We will be able to help investors in Malaysia, even to the extent where ministers will be making themselves available for international investors,” Dr Mahathir said at the event, which was organised by the international trade and industry ministry.
Dr Mahathir also highlighted that the government has no plans to raise taxes at the moment. Instead, he said Putrajaya is looking into ways to reduce taxes.
“Malaysia, for example, reduced taxes on the imports of luxury goods and that has helped a lot of businesses, because more shoppers come to Malaysia as it is cheaper,” said the prime minister.
He said the government is studying how to make its tax policies more attractive to investors, adding that Malaysia has abolished certain taxes which have benefited the country.
He also said the country is looking at whether to reduce income tax.
“We agree that when the income tax is reduced, more people will invest and in the end we will collect more tax. We will look into the possibilities of reducing income tax. By doing so, we will encourage more foreign investments,” said Dr Mahathir.
But at this juncture, he said the government has yet to make any decision on the matter.
Source: The Edge Markets