LETTER | Why do the Chinese dominate M'sia's top ten richest list?

Tung Yi Yuan


LETTER | In light of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, many Malaysians have started raising awareness about racism within our own borders. 

Many of the arguments for why the unjust laws within our system should remain unchanged are circulating around the fact that Chinese have dominated the economy in Malaysia over the decades. Below, I have broken down the why, when and how the Chinese accumulated generational wealth in Malaysia.

Many people other than the Chinese themselves do not understand the Chinese education system well. Chinese vernacular school students study a dual syllabus, both the local and China syllabus. It is important to talk about the China syllabus because it is actually a lot more difficult and covers a lot more world history and world geography compared to the local SPM syllabus. 

The mathematics and science standards are way harder as well. Chinese schools are also longer in terms of schedules and most of the schools have classes on Saturdays.

When Chinese are stereotyped as hard workers, we should all understand that the Chinese are not actually born more hardworking than any other race. But Chinese are forced to be hardworking since young because of the higher standards and heavier syllabus in Chinese schools.

Solution? Abolish vernacular schools but impose higher standards within our public schools in terms of the school syllabus and quality of local teachers.

The special privilege only the bumiputera can enjoy in Malaysia might seem like it is directly helping and protecting the interest of the Malays. But the discrimination in law has created an endless cycle of racism within our society. It has also resulted in the “Only Chinese" job listings that you can see everywhere. 

Minorities are so worried because the law itself is unfair towards them that they are quick to jump up and protect themselves and their own community. It has unintentionally contributed to the very racism they were once so frustrated about.

“Only Chinese” should not be seen anywhere whether be it the labour market or housing for rent because opportunities should be equal for every Malaysian. This ultimately hurts our Indian community systematically as they lack an economic and political stand in Malaysia.

Solution? Eliminate privileges for a specific race but introduce meritocracy based on income level instead.

As we all know, China’s economy has been expanding so rapidly over the last decade. With the ability to speak Mandarin and communicate with native Chinese, many Malaysian Chinese have profited from the growing market in China whether by entrepreneurship or trading and manufacturing.

Every Malaysian can benefit from a prosperous economy regardless of race, and millions of jobs have been created in Malaysia due to such an opportunity before. Hence, the huge wave of immigrants that came to Malaysia for a better quality of life.

Solution? I do not have a solution for this as China’s economy is not within our control. But let’s all put aside our prejudices against each other, be more understanding and educate each other to move this country forward together. 

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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