Huazong: ‘Chinese are rich’ notion is harmful to the nation and must be stopped immediately
KUALA LUMPUR : The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) has cautioned politicians in the country against perpetuating the narrative that Chinese Malaysians in the country are rich.
Its president, Tan Sri T.C Goh said such an unfair stereotyping may cause other communities to perceive the Chinese community as an “immoral lot”, and if left unchecked, may lead to disruption of unity and harmony among the people of different races, and ultimately brings harms to the country.
“Politicians especially, should always be more cautious when they speak in the public and should refrain from making such an inflammatory remark as, it may cause other communities to have a wrong idea and to discriminate against the Chinese community. If left unchecked, it may go out of control and it may incite hatred and animosity against Chinese businesses, and rip the nation apart,” he warned.
He contended that, in a democratic nation like Malaysia, rich and poor people existed in all communities, and not just the Chinese community; the attainment of wealth is largely attributed to the people’s hardworking attitude and determination to improve their lives, besides the policies of the government of the day.
He pointed out as a matter of fact that, hundreds of thousands of Chinese Malaysians had to leave their loved ones behind, either to work in the neighbouring Singapore or other countries, as foreign labourers; there are also many poor and struggling Chinese Malaysians, the small-and-medium entrepreneurs included, whose lives had been adversely impacted by the recent series of Movement Control Order (MCO) as, many of them had either closed down their businesses or lost their jobs.
“A huge number of them had to apply for various aid schemes provided by the government including the living allowance, Wage Subsidy Program and financing for the SMEs, in order to stay afloat. This is the true scenario of the Chinese community, today,” he said.
Goh thus expressed deep regret over former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks during an interview with the Hong Kong-based Asia Times that, the Chinese Malaysians are the ‘wealthy lot’ with a majority of them living in the cities and urban centers, and such is an ‘unhealthy trend’.
“No one should perpetuate such a wicked, misleading and discriminating narrative on the Chinese Malaysians that they are rich,” he contended.
In a response issued today, Goh pointed out that due to the limited opportunities in the public service sector be it government departments, agencies or government-linked companies (GLCs) which are predominantly spearheaded by the non-Chinese, such a prevailing trend had essentially compelled the Chinese Malaysians to venture into the private sector.
He continued that since Malaysia gained its independence until today, the Chinese Malaysians had always strive to coexist with the other communities in harmony, and even supported the government’s affirmative action to help the vulnerable and underprivileged groups of Malaysians, besides helping the government to implement policies which are beneficial to the country and its people, in various sectors.
“All these years, despite an unlevel playing field of the new economic policy, quota system and without any special privileges, the Chinese Malaysians through hard works, determination and close collaborations with other communities managed to expand and share the economic cake with fellow Malaysians,” he pointed out.
He thus expressed deep regret that, all these years the Chinese Malaysians had to endure such a unfair, hostile and discriminating remarks like “Chinese are rich”, “Chinese are ungrateful lot”, “Chinese are the outsiders”, “What else do the Chinese want?”, “Balik Tongsang” (go back to China), “Chinese are the squatters” etc hurled at them by unscrupulous politicians in the country, with the chief aim of scoring political mileage on the expense of racial unity and harmony.
“Such hostile and hurtful remarks against the Chinese community if left unchecked and exploited by some extremists in the country, it may ruin our beloved nation which we had all built together and zealously protected all these years,” he reiterated.
Goh thus earnestly appealed to politicians in the country to stop their selfish and dangerous act of exploiting race and religious issues for their political gain, which would only ruin the nation in the long run, and instead to strive to push for a fairer national economic policy to foster greater unity and harmony among Malaysians of different races and religious background.