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Malaysian Government Gears Up To Woo Foreign Investors

December 1, 2009Article by Ray Withers

Foreign investment in Malaysia was down 66% in the first 3 quarters of this year compared to the same period last year, according to Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Mustapa Mohamed. This is about to change next year, as the government launches a new programme to attract foreign investment during the global recovery. Mohamed, said the programme would be undertaken by agencies under his ministry like Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida) and Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department.

“The programmes also involves efforts by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to attract foreign investors,” he told reporters at his Hari Raya Haji open house in Darulfalah, here on Saturday (Nov 28). Mohamed himself left for a mission to Geneva that evening to drum up some new foreign investment for Malaysia.

The new programme comes as the Malaysian government announces a new law, well rather a new version of an old law. The Central Bank of Malaysia Act 1958 is now the Central Bank of Malaysia Act 2009.
According to a Bank Negara statement, the new Act provides comprehensive provisions to ensure swift and orderly resolution in the event of an imminent financial crisis to reduce its impact and costs to the domestic economy and to sustain public confidence.

“Provisions have been made for heightened surveillance, pre-emptive actions and resolution powers including the extension of liquidity assistance to entities not regulated by the central bank but which pose risks to the overall financial stability,” it said.

The new Act also provides for Bank Negara to have oversight over the money and foreign exchange markets, payment systems and for enhanced arrangements for cooperation with other supervisory authorities.

This is good news for anyone considering an investment in Malaysian property, and for anyone considering buying Malaysian property for a move to the country.

The latter is currently very popular, given that Malaysia is very similar to the UK, with predominant use of English, including in all property contracts, and a first rate healthcare system, according to international property investment consultancy Property Frontiers.

“We are seeing a lot of today’s clued up young people moving to Malaysia, because they know that Asia is the world’s growing economic hub, and Malaysia offers them the safety and security of being an ex-British colony, with predominant use of English and a health service comparable to that of the UK or anywhere else in the west for that matter,” said Ray Withers, director of the firm.

Foreigners also choose Malaysia as a destination to migrate to because of the heavy western influence in the banking system, which means foreigners can secure mortgages for Malaysian property quite easily.


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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