Wee Ka Siong is the president of the Malaysian Chinese Association, the main ethnic-Chinese based political party in the Barisan Nasional alliance that ruled the country for more than 60 years. He is also a member of Malaysia’s current coalition government. Our correspondent Rian Maelzer spoke with him to get his thoughts on China’s governance, the Belt and Road Initiative and China-Malaysia cooperation.
RIAN MAELZER Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia “China has steadily opened up to the rest of the world in recent years, through multilateral and bilateral trade deals. Also holding these International fairs where they try to encourage countries and companies to export their goods to China. How do you think this policy, this approach is helping to benefit China Malaysia cooperation, and relations?”
WEE KA SIONG, President, Malaysian Chinese Association “We maintain very good relationship with China, and in fact since 2009, China has been the largest trading partner to Malaysia. We have the common goal to achieve. Malaysia being a small nation, we need to work with Big trading Nation. So this case China, where China opened up is market then automatically Malaysian company would like to penetrate into China market and vice versa the Chinese company will come to Malaysia and so that this can be treated as a window to penetrate into ASEAN market. So I think it’s the right move and that will help to prosper our region in ASEAN, Malaysia, as well as China.”
RIAN MAELZER, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia “China refers to its political system as ‘whole process people’s democracy’ which includes various types of engagement, consultation and oversight. How well do you think that system has been working for China?”
WEE KA SIONG, President, Malaysian Chinese Association “I think is kind of governance that allow people to participate in the process of decision-making. That will make the consultation or even these consensus-building possible. So in this regard, I think, It’s an achievement. This is the model that suits China best.”