Too much bureaucracy in doing business in Malaysia, says PM

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PUTRAJAYA (June 11): The government is looking into reducing the number of processes that businesses and investors need to go through to do business in Malaysia, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Prime Minister said this was decided at the third meeting of the 16-member Economic Action Council (EAC) held today, which had ease of doing business as one of its main meeting agenda.

"We see businesses find it difficult to obtain approval to invest and contribute to the growth of the economy," said Dr Mahathir at a press conference after the meeting.

As such, the premier said the chief secretary to the government has been instructed to reduce the number of processes, beginning with the construction sector.

"There are sixty processes for the construction [sector alone]… In some places, it takes three years before you can [kick-start a project]," Dr Mahathir said.

Among the suggestions are to identify the full workflow chart of the whole process to get a project or investment approved, and to allow agencies involved to expedite the approval of a process under their purview without having to wait for the approval of other agencies, said the prime minister.

Additionally, the EAC also seeks to reduce regulatory costs and delays in getting business approvals. Moving forward, the EAC intends to also focus on the tourism sector to spur the domestic economy, and to increase foreign exchange earnings.