Malaysia must go all out to seize economic opportunities under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), says MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Wee Ka Siong. The Chinese business approach of being non-confrontational and practising mutual cooperation for a win-win situation must be adopted to help seal deals, he said.

He added that MCA was the first political party to support BRI when it was announced by China President Xi Jinping in 2013.

A year later, Dr Wee, who was then Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, set up the Secretariat for the Advancement of Malaysian Entrepreneurs (SAME) to assist small to medium entrepreneurs, with the BRI among its key areas. MCA, he said, also had a BRI centre in Wisma MCA here as a link between SMEs and relevant organisations to facilitate businesses related to the initiative.

Dr Wee said he was sad that SAME was dissolved after Pakatan Harapan took over the government after the 14th General Election.

Unlike the previous Opposition which criticised the BRI, Dr Wee said MCA as the current Opposition would continue to support the BRI to expand economic opportunities for Malaysians.

“We must not miss these chances,” he said when opening the 2019 Talk on BRI and China E-Commerce at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

Those present included MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon and other party central leaders.Dr Wee said the BRI provided vast business opportunities for Malaysian entrepreneurs and that the nation should go for big markets.Dr Ho Ying Chan, an assistant professor of international studies at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar), said Chinese from Malaysia and China got along well.

This, he added, was a business edge that did not come easy and was an asset for Malaysia to be part of the global ambition.

MCA Vice President Tan Teik Cheng said the party would work with Utar to promote the BRI among Malaysians.

“MCA is the first political party to come up with full support for BRI. There are now over 100 organisations on BRI in Malaysia,” said Tan, who is also Chairman of the party’s BRI centre.