From Patrimonialism to Profit

Kee Cheok Cheong

The sixth and final substantive article that will appear in a special issue that remembers the late Professor Lee Poh Ping is one that he co-authored. The article is “From Patrimonialism to Profit: The Changing Flow of Funds from the Chinese in Malaysia to China” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2017.1347696).

Lee Poh Ping

This paper was in process with JCA when Professor Lee passed away in late 2016.

The article is co-authored with Kee Cheok Cheong and Kam Hing Lee, two of his long-time collaborators at the Institute of China Studies at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.

The abstract for the paper states:

Kam Hing Lee

Unlike the period before World War II, the Malaysian Chinese no longer look towards China as a home they will ultimately return to. This is seen in the flow of funds to China from the Malaysian Chinese. Before the war the motivation was patrimonial. The funds were in the form of patriotic bonds and collections and remittances that went to the home provinces of the Malaysian Chinese mostly in Fujian and Guangdong. Since the 1990s the funds flow has mainly been in the form of investment meant for gaining profit. This motivation was not different from that of business investors from other nations investing in China. It is important to demonstrate this motivation in order to allay suspicions by indigenous Southeast Asians that the Chinese who live in Southeast Asia are diverting funds meant for Southeast Asia to China.

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