Koon Swan: Chinese contribute 70% of economy

Tan Koon SwanPETALING JAYA: Malaysian Chinese contribute about 70 per cent of gross domestic product, according to former MCA president Tan Koon Swan in a press interview.

He was quoted as saying in Sin Chew Daily that although some Malaysian Chinese had emigrated, believing they had been mistreated, the community still had a bright future.

He also forecast a huge market for future exploitation arising from China’s economic policy and the creation of the Asean economic region.

Tan received a landslide victory when he was elected MCA president in November 1985 in a bitter power struggle between three factions, after a corporate career in which he built up the MCA’s Multi-Purpose group and Bandaraya property development group, and launched his own Supreme Corporation.

His political career came to a crash when he was controversially convicted in Singapore over his holdings in Pan-Electric Industries, in which he was later said to have been made a scapegoat.

In the interview with Sin Chew Daily, Tan said analysis of the economy showed that the Chinese community contributed 70 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, although many large companies appeared to be controlled by people of other ethnic groups.

Although some Malays enjoyed power and high incomes through government-linked companies, most of the others in the Malay community lived hard lives compared to those in the Chinese community, he was quoted as saying.

Although Felda, Sime Darby and other Bumiputera entrepreneurs had control over 25 per cent of estate land, about 20 per cent was in the hands of several big Chinese businessmen, while the rest of the 55 per cent belonged to smallholders, “you know who they are.”