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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Wee slams Dr M, saying wealth has nothing to do with race or religion

PETALING JAYA - Wealth has nothing to do with skin color, religion or gender, said MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

"If the government really wants to tackle poverty, actions taken need to be directed towards the poor and not distort socio-economic issues into a topic laced with racial intonation," said Dr Wee in a statement on Wednesday (June 28).

Dr Wee was commenting on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's comments on the need to continue policies to help Malays to avoid conflict between them and "richer" ethnic groups like the Chinese.

Dr Mahathir told Channel NewsAsia that when he was in the United Kingdom, the Chinese students he met there were able to study there because their parents could afford the tuition fees.


In contrast, Dr Mahathir said that Malay parents cannot afford to have university education for their children. Therefore, he said more scholarships needs to be given to Malays.

Dr Wee urged Dr Mahathir to stop using the Chinese as a "sacrificial lamb" in his attempt to further his racial ideologies.

"The wealth disparities in Malaysia need not always be conflated with ethnicity," he said.

"It does not matter if it is the Malay, Chinese, Indian or any races, each race has members on both ends of the income spectrum," said Dr Wee.

He said the Government must ensure that all citizens are treated fairly, and the needy and vulnerable should be provided with a solid social protection network, regardless of their ethnicity.

"The majority of the six million Malaysian Chinese in 2018 is working class, not dissimilar from how most Bumiputeras are wage-earners," said Dr Wee.

"The Chinese mostly depend on frugality, hard work and self-reliance in an attempt to accumulate wealth," he said.

"More importantly, the Chinese values education above all else; they will strive to give the best education to their children regardless of how little money they might have," said Dr Wee.

Dr Wee criticised Dr Mahathir's "race-oriented policies" that he introduced during his first term as prime minister from 1981 to 2003.

"The premier would not ease up on reinforcing the fallacious stereotype that “the Chinese are the wealthy ones” in order to rationalise the neglect of the interests of Malaysian Chinese," he said.

"Whenever he starts talking about “the Chinese are rich”, he is knowingly attempting to segregate us Malaysians.

"How can one expect policies set forth by apartheid ideologies resolve any ill-feelings that exist in a multiracial society," questioned Dr Wee.

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