Not a sin for the Chinese to be rich

Valuable contribution: The first row of brick shophouses in Kuala Lumpur, on the edge of what was known as Market Square, was built by Yap Ah Loy. Photo taken in 1884. — National Archives

A politician reaches for the race card once again, misrepresenting facts and risking causing hatred towards an ethnic group that has contributed a lot to Malaysia.

DO Chinese Malaysians need to apologise for being rich and owning property in cities and towns? Is it a sin for them to become wealthy? To anyone who is sane and reasonable, the obvious answer to these questions is “no”.

But Chinese wealth has become a hot issue after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told Hong Kong-based Asia Times in an interview last week that Malaysian Chinese are a “wealthy lot”, with most of them living in urban centres, and that this represented an “unhealthy trend”. This suggestive statement by Malaysia’s former Prime Minister sends out a discomforting message that it is wrong for Chinese people to lead comfortable lives in cities that they helped to build alongside the other ethnic groups in Malaysia.

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Chinese , history , economy , Mahathir , Wee Ka Siong


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