Speechs in the year
Tarikh/Date	:	28/07/2003
Versi 		:	ENGLISH
Penyampai	:	PM   

         Firstly, I would like to thank the organisers for
   this  invitation to speak at the Seventh World  Chinese
   Entrepreneurs   Convention,  here  in  Bandar   Sunway,
   Selangor, Malaysia.  I feel greatly honoured.

   2.    There  is  a  common thread that links  Malaysia,
   Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia  with
   China,  and  that  is  the  presence  of  the  overseas
   Chinese.   Although  they largely resist  assimilation,
   they   nevertheless   identify  themselves   with   the
   countries they live in.  Their presence has never  been
   used  as  an excuse by China to invade and to colonise,
   as  happens with other countries.  Instead, adapting to
   local  conditions, the Chinese have contributed to  the
   development  and  growth of these  countries.   But  of
   course  the Chinese are not only in Southeast Asia  but
   are  in every country in the world.  And wherever  they
   may be they have contributed to the wealth creation  of
   these   countries.   This  they  do  because  of  their
   entrepreneurship, their willingness to take  risks  and
   their  quick  appreciation of the needs of  the  places
   that  they  migrate to.  They literally  see  what  the
   locals fail to see, the opportunities which abound.  At
   times  they have to pay a high price for their success,
   including  losing their lives and all the  wealth  that
   they  have accumulated.  But this does not deter  them,
   nor  does  it bring the wrath of China on the countries
   or communities concerned.
   3.     Population  pressure,  wars  between   warlords,
   famines,  floods  and epidemics were  the  reasons  for
   Chinese  emigration.  They came usually  as  destitutes
   but  were  willing to work hard and to be exploited  by
   their own people and the locals in order to escape  the
   poverty  and hardships of their own country.   In  time
   their   labour  paid  off.   Many  became  very   rich,
   controlling vast business empires across the borders of
   many  countries.   Hard  work, entrepreneurship  and  a
   willingness to endure all kinds of privations  are  the
   ingredients  for  overseas Chinese  success.   In  many
   countries  they also gained a lot of influence  in  the

   4.    Malaysia  is  one  of those countries  where  the
   Chinese  have done very well.  It also has one  of  the
   highest  percentages of Chinese in its population.   In
   doing well for themselves they have also done well  for
   the  country.  While the Malays provide a good, if  not
   perfect  administration, the Chinese have provided  the
   entrepreneurship and the business skills to enrich  the
   country.  The relationship is symbiotic - both  gaining
   from each other's specialised role.  Some would say  it
   is  cronyism between the ruling indigenous  elites  and
   the   Chinese   tycoons.   Cronyism  is   a   universal
   phenomenon  found  in  every  country,  developed   and
   developing.  The difference is only one of degree.   In
   Malaysia for example, the number of Chinese who succeed
   without  knowing  Government leaders  or  officers  are
   uncountable.  Inevitably the prominent among  them  are
   recognised  and are known by members of the  Government
   especially  when they are generous in charitable  work.
   It  is  impossible  for the rich and  the  generous  to
   remain in obscurity.

   5.   The Seventh World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention
   is  not  about China. Yet it has everything to do  with
   China. The roots of each member of this convention  can
   be  traced to China. The Chinese Diaspora is one of the
   greatest  the  world has ever seen.  According  to  the
   Overseas Chinese Confederation, in May 2000, there were
   34  million  Chinese residing in 140 countries  in  the
   world.  A  2002  Fletcher School of Law  and  Diplomacy
   study puts the figure at about 60 million. Whatever the
   figure,  it  is still a small proportion of  the  total
   Chinese population of China, or of the world.

   6.    With  an  estimated wealth of  more  than  US$1.5
   trillion,   overseas  Chinese  constitute  what   could
   arguably  be  called the third-largest economy  in  the
   world  after the GNPs of the United States  and  Japan.
   It  is  estimated  that Asia has the  largest  overseas
   Chinese  population  (28  million).  The  Americas  are
   second  (3.5  million),  Europe  third  (1.6  million),
   Oceania  fourth (571 thousand), and Africa  fifth  (137
   7.    Going  by  the numbers and the wealth  that  this
   group is estimated to have generated and is capable  of
   generating,  some  political observers  and  economists
   have  opined  that the overseas Chinese can  hold  sway
   over the global economy. John Kao, a Harvard Professor,
   has  alluded  to the eventual emergence of  a  "Chinese
   Commonwealth." Books have been written about  the  "The
   New Asian Emperors" and the "Offshore Economic Empire."
   But   China  itself  has  never  tried  to  shape   the
   international financial and economic regimes  in  order
   to ensure Chinese economic dominance of the world.  The
   overseas  Chinese are left very much to  themselves  to
   survive and to prosper.

   8.    Far from trying for domination in ideology or  in
   restructuring  the  systems of the world  the  Overseas
   Chinese  have  tried to maintain a  low  profile.   Not
   being  protected by China as a superpower the  overseas
   Chinese  have always been sensitive to the question  of
   their  political and economic loyalty to the  countries
   where they have settled.

   9.   Still their success and their wealth have been the
   cause  of  much envy and jealousy on the  part  of  the
   indigenous people.  Off and on there would be outbreaks
   of  violence  in which the Chinese residents  were  the
   target.   But  when  the violence is  over  they  still
   mostly  opted  to  stay  in  the  countries  of   their
   adoption, to rebuild their businesses and regain  their

   10.   Perhaps  the  overseas  Chinese  should  be  more
   visible  in  the nation building process of their  host
   country.  This  will also help correct  the  long  held
   stereotypical  view  of  the overseas  Chinese,  biased
   perhaps  by  behavior of earlier waves of .migr.s,  who
   appeared  to be more focused on enhancing their  wealth
   than  they  are  on contributing to the  socio-economic
   development  of  the host country.   Whenever  possible
   they should have true partnership with the locals.  And
   the locals for their part must make serious attempts to
   learn  and  acquire  the business  and  entrepreneurial
   skills of the Chinese.

   11.   In  the  past the overseas Chinese  were  not  so
   insular.  In Malaysia they developed a culture that was
   a  unique blend of local culture and their own  Chinese
   culture.   The  Babas and Nyonyas of Melaka,  Singapore
   and  Penang formed a distinct community, still  Chinese
   but   obviously  not  the  same  as  their   China-born
   ancestors.   The  Nyonyas,  the  womenfolk   of   their
   community have developed their own food which  is  well
   accepted by Malaysians of all races.
   12.   It  is said that these Straits Chinese  had  lost
   their  business skills somewhat.  But how far  this  is
   true  cannot be determined.  Certainly we are not  made
   conscious of the antecedents of the successful  Chinese
   businessmen in Malaysia.  They seem to be all Chinese.

   13.   In Malaysia we do not expect or try to assimilate
   the   Chinese  or  the  Indians  into  the   indigenous
   community.   Our  approach is one of  integration.   In
   this  we  have  been quite successful.  Racial  clashes
   hardly ever happen in Malaysia, although there could be
   tensions at times.  But there can be no doubt that  the
   Chinese  have  contributed  much  towards  making  what
   Malaysia is today.

   14.  The role of the Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia
   is  crucial.  We have to admit that for one  reason  or
   another  the  indigenous people have not been  able  to
   keep up with the evolution of business in the developed
   world.  In East Africa when the Indians were forced  to
   leave  the country, the economy was unable to  grow  or
   even  to  be  sustained.  Perhaps without the  Overseas
   Chinese the economic situation in Southeast Asia  would
   not  crumble  as  happened  in  East  Africa.   But  it
   certainly  would  not  be as  dynamic  as  it  is  now.
   Undoubtedly   the  dynamism  of  the  Southeast   Asian
   countries prior to the currency crisis of the late 1990
   had  lifted everyone up with it.  The disparity between
   the  wealth  of the overseas Chinese and the indigenous
   people remains but in Malaysia at least the policies to
   uplift  the indigenous people have resulted in  poverty
   among them being reduced to negligible numbers.  At the
   same  time many indigenous people have achieved success
   in  business fields from which they were absent before.
   Given  time the disparity between the indigenous people
   and the overseas Chinese would diminish.

   15.   There  are  and there will always be  charges  of
   cronyism  between Government leaders and the successful
   businessmen,  both  those of Chinese  origins  and  the
   indigenous.   No amount of denials would  convince  the
   great  moral  warriors.  But the  truth  is  that  true
   cronyism  happens in the very countries from where  the
   moral  warriors come from.  The only way  to  prove  to
   these  people  that there is no cronyism is  to  ensure
   that  no  one  succeeds  in  business,  especially  big
   business  in developing countries.  Everyone should  be
   poor  or  at  the most making a living  as  small  time
   individual  retailers living from hand  to  mouth.   In
   that  situation the great foreign corporations can move
   in  to  indulge  in big business and  to  dominate  the
   economies.  The locals whether indigenous or not  would
   be  totally dependent on these great foreign banks  and
   corporations for all their needs.  Then of course their
   critics will condemn the Government and the people  for
   being  incompetent  and  incapable  of  exploiting  the
   potentials of their own countries.

   16.   Between  being dominated by ethnically  different
   foreigners and getting a share of the wealth  generated
   by  local  citizens of Chinese origins these  countries
   should  prefer the local Chinese.  They  are  at  least
   sensitive  to the needs of the indigenous  people,  are
   prepared to share the opportunities and the wealth, and
   are  not  going  to  call  upon  China  to  force   the
   Government  of these countries to accept systems  which
   would  work  against  the interest  of  the  indigenous

   17.   Most  overseas Chinese have become successful  in
   practically  all the countries they have  migrated  to.
   Despite  being  citizens of these countries  they  have
   maintained  their  identity.  They have  also  remained
   largely  loyal  to their clan and family  links.   They
   therefore   form   a  natural  global   network   which
   facilitates their doing business worldwide.  In today's
   globalised  world and easy communication  this  network
   cannot  but  be very convenient.  Together  with  their
   links with the emerging economic super power that China
   has  proven to be, the opportunities available  to  the
   world's Chinese entrepreneurs are truly limitless.

   18.   But  being sensitive to local conditions and  the
   need  to  ensure  that  a  good environment  exist  for
   business in these countries, the overseas Chinese  must
   work  closely with the indigenous people  and  help  to
   reduce  the economic disparities between them  and  the
   locals.  It would certainly contribute not only to  the
   fair   sharing  of  the  wealth  released  by   Chinese
   entrepreneurship but it would help prevent the kind  of
   incidents  that seem to be common in many countries  of
   Southeast  Asia for example, whenever bad  times  come.
   The  Chinese are well-known for their charity work  and
   this  can  contribute toward greater social justice  in
   their countries of adoption.

   19.    As  you  discuss the business that  you  can  be
   involved   in   worldwide   and   the   entrepreneurial
   opportunities that globalisation presents, I  hope  you
   will  also ponder on the contribution that you can make
   to  the  well-being of your adopted countries  and  the
   world in general.

   20.  I wish you a fruitful convention.

   Sumber : Pejabat Perdana Menteri