The message from the Malaysian government to businessmen is clear: No more cronyism and no more "kautim" (Cantonese for "all settled") culture.Speaking to Malaysian businessmen assembled in Beijing, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told them that simply winning over the prime minister was no longer any guarantee that their pitch will come to fruition.
Mahathir said after meeting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing he did not believe in confrontation with any country and stressed the benefits Malaysia stood to gain from increased exposure to Chinese trade, technology and entrepreneurship.
China's Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday (Aug 20) his government is willing to promote bilateral ties and economic cooperation with Malaysia as Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad visited China to discuss trade and investment.
This kind of attitude had resulted in Malaysia becoming merely a consumer nation, Dr Mahathir said.
"We also hope to get China to understand the problems we face by Malaysia today".
"And I hope that China and I believe that China will look sympathetically towards the problems that we have to resolve and perhaps help us in resolving some of our internal fiscal problems".
Mahathir has also halted work on two projects worth more than $2.3 billion awarded to the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau that have been linked to graft at Malaysian state fund 1MDB.
"The Chinese here want to learn and produce the best quality goods themselves, and because of that, they have become the factory for the whole world", said Dr Mahathir, who is on the third day of his five-day official visit to China. "I could ensure you that when I was the prime minister for 22 years, I have upgraded the diplomatic relationship".
"No matter what changes happened in our two countries, China-Malaysia ties have been solid, stable and upwards".
During the dialogue, Dr Mahathir said: "There are periods of ups and downs for the relationship between China and Malaysia".