http://thestar.com.my/online/newsreport.asp?file=/1999/11/6/nation/0601fyth.asp&newspage=mainTitle: STAR ONLINE: News Article
Saturday, November 6, 1999
Hakkas praised for role in country's developmentSUBANG JAYA:Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday acknowledged the contributions of the Hakka community in the country's development.
Speaking at the 15th World Hakka Convention, the Prime Minister said the co-operation between the Malays and the Chinese, or Hakkas to be exact, began one and a half centuries ago.
He said Yap Ah Loy and his kinsman Yap Ah Shak, together with the then leader of the Malay community Mohamad Tahir, had laid the groundwork for the development of Kuala Lumpur.
"In Malaysia, the history of Kuala Lumpur would be incomplete if we do not take into consideration the contributions of Hakka leaders who became Kapitan China (Chinese captains) of the tin industry," he said.
He said the Hakka presence in this part of the world went back as early as the 17th century in Western Kalimantan.
There are about 1.5 million Hakkas in Malaysia.
Some 1,200 delegates including those from overseas are attending the four-day conference themed Towards Greater Cultural and Economic Co-operation.
Dr Mahathir also singled out the economic strength of the Chinese as a contributory factor towards countering attacks by currency speculators.
"I must say that among other things, it is the basic economic strength of the Chinese community that has helped the country face the recent attacks by currency speculators," he said.
In paying tribute to the community, the Prime Minister said:
"More importantly, the Chinese have clearly shown their willingness to share the bounty with the Malays and other races."
Also present were MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik and Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Abu Hassan Omar.
President of the Federation of Hakka Associations of Malaysia Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah presented a cheque for RM100,000 to Dr Mahathir as a donation for Bakti.
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