Former minister says they are not too involved in the administration of the country because they have not been allowed to do so.
KUALA LUMPUR:. If given the chance, Malaysian Chinese would like to contribute more to the country’s progress as they love the country, says Zaid Ibrahim.
It is wrong to say that earning money is of paramount importance to Chinese Malaysians, the former de facto law minister says in his latest blog post.
Referring to a comment piece by FMT reader Johan James on Jan 31, he says: “They are not much involved in the administration of this country because they have not been allowed to serve by Umno, which likes to portray itself as the defender of Malays and Islam while giving MCA the responsibility to do business deals.”
Johan had said that Malaysian Chinese could clearly see the benefits to their businesses of China’s huge investments in Malaysia and that, therefore, they would not only make use of these opportunities but also vote for the Barisan Nasional due to this.
In the article titled “The China deal: A blessing for local Chinese”, Johan had said: “Though critical of the government in social media, the Chinese community – especially business people – can be expected to give importance to earnings rather than political rhetoric.”
Zaid says: ”Chinese Malaysians love this country and, if allowed, they would like to contribute more to the building of this country. They are not so selfish as to think only of earnings.
“Chinese Malaysians want to be part of the nation. They don’t want merely to run profitable businesses and nothing else. They want to belong to this country – and they will, with Pakatan Harapan.”
Johan had also said that another reason why Malaysian Chinese would welcome China’s involvement in Malaysia was the shared cultural similarities. He had added that they would not “compromise on their deep-rooted cultural aspects”.
To this, Zaid says: “I don’t know any Chinese from Beijing but I have known many Chinese Malaysians over the years. Our Chinese might still use chopsticks and eat a lot of pork but it’s shameful to say that they are closer to mainland Chinese than they are to other Malaysians.
“Chinese Malaysians have been here for generations and they are culturally so very different from the citizens of China. Chinese Malaysians are on the whole much more educated, refined and sophisticated than those from the mainland.”
Commenting on Johan’s view that “the government has begun to tone down its hardline conservatism to slowly draw the Chinese people’s support,” Zaid says:
“My God. Is the government’s unrelenting attack on the DAP and its leaders not an attack on the Chinese community?
“The DAP has been described as anti-Islam and anti-Malay, and all kinds of lies about the party taking power and endangering Malay power have been spread. This is certainly not softening “hardline conservatism”. It’s the opposite.”
Zaid says the uncontrolled influx of foreigners, “whether from China or Bangladesh – whether people or money (including fraudulent mega projects) – will harm our country beyond repair”.
Zaid cautions the Chinese community to be wary of the “wrong advice” they would be getting this election year.
He says their long-term prosperity and peaceful co-existence with the rest of Malaysians means that everyone needs to work together as one people to remove corruption, injustice and unfairness from the system.
In appealing to the Chinese community to continue supporting the opposition “because Malays are now with us”, Zaid says:
“Don’t spoil our chances. While it’s true that investments from anywhere must be welcomed, Malaysia must come first.
“We must decide together on all kinds of decisions, but we should use only one criterion when deciding what is and isn’t important: will it be good for the country and the people?”