KOTA BARU, Malaysia - Malaysia believes that its strong relationship with China, which is going through a testing time because of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, will remain strong.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said there might be a strain temporarily but added that it would be mended in the medium and long term.
"We understand the feelings of the families (of passengers) after all we are also human. It will be a problem in one or two days but Malaysia and China have a long history of frienship.
"We have established diplomatic relations for 40 years, too long for it to be affected," Mustapa said after opening a seminar on Planning of Inheritance organised by Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) here yesterday.
Mustapa was commenting on a statement by Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar that the incident would affect Visit Malaysia Year 2014 as China was the biggest market for the country in Asia and this may spread to other sectors, including trade and investment, if the issue was not handled carefully.
He said the government, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had all done their best.
"The case is extraordinary and has never happened previously."
On PNB, which operates a number of unit trust schemes, Mustapa said it was one of the major success stories of the Barisan Nasional government. He said PNB now handled RM184.86 billion (S$71.17 billion) worth of investments which were deposited by 11.81 million investors.
"Several countries have adopted the model but were unsuccessful. It did not receive good response because there is uncertainty over the returns."
In Malacca, on Saturday night, Mustapa said he was confident that trade and investment with China would not be affected despite the dissatisfaction shown by its nationals about MH370.
He said the Chinese government had acknowledged the difficult situation faced by its Malaysian counterparts in getting something concrete in the investigations of the missing flight since March 8.
"We have been enjoying very good diplomatic and trade ties with China since the past 40 years and I believe that this strong bond will not be that easily derailed in our quest to find the missing plane."