Tun M: "There Is No Doubt That Much Of The Development Of Malaysia Is Due To The Chinese"
On Friday, while delivering his keynote address at the World Chinese Economic Forum, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad applauded the Malaysian Chinese community for their contributions to the development of the country and its economy
He credited much of Malaysia's development and the creation of businesses to the first Chinese settlers here, saying we would be in a different situation were it not for them.
"The Chinese not only occupy China. You go anywhere in the world, you will see Chinese faces. They have contributed much to the development of many countries and have become citizens in these countries," the Prime Minister said.
"We have 30% of the population of Chinese origin and there is no doubt that much of the development of Malaysia is due to the Chinese," he added.
He said that without them Malaysia would have been left behind
"Malaysia fully appreciates the Chinese contribution to the development of Malaysia. Indeed, we feel that without them, much of the development of Malaysia would be somewhat lagging behind," he said while addressing the Chinese contribution.
"But they have come here, to live here, to become Malaysian citizens, and to help in the development of this country. And I'm quite sure that wherever they go they will do the same. Somehow they have a knack of creating wealth wherever they go," he added.
The Prime Minister noted how the Chinese are business-oriented people, and that they know how to deal with money and business
"We all know that it is the business people who are good at creating the wealth of the country while the government is good at collecting that wealth," Tun Mahathir said with a slight chuckle, drawing an instant laughter from the room filled with people yesterday.
"But without the business people creating the wealth, the government can collect no wealth. Yes, there are countries of course, which are gifted with a lot of natural resources among which is petroleum. And these countries have developed quite well. But in other fields, they have not been able to develop.
"But the Chinese contribution to the development of Malaysia is not confined only to business and making of profit but also in many other fields," he added while paying tribute to the ability of the Chinese in adapting to changing market conditions.
"Today's business is not about opening shops along streets which was what they did when they came to Malaysia. The streets then were lined by Chinese shops, providing services of all kinds.
"But the situation changed over time. Today, we see a complete change in the way goods are marketed. Now we have many shopping complexes where the shops are gathered in a place that is nicely air-conditioned. And this change is brought about by the ability of the Chinese to make the adjustment to the differing conditions," he added.
The World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) was celebrating the 44th anniversary of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations.
You can watch Tun Mahathir's full speech from 16-minute mark:
Back in September, Tun Mahathir, who returned to the international stage after a 15-year absence for the 73rd United Nations General Assembly, shared about the 'New Malaysia':