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Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce
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Mr. Tan Yew Sing
President, Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce / Founder & Chairman, INTI International University & Colleges, Malaysia
Tan Yew Sing
Tan Yew Sing The triennial election of the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) next Sunday promises to see the hottest - and perhaps the ugliest - contest for top positions in the history of this trade organisation. The June 26 election at a downtown hotel in Kuala Lumpur may be held amid tight security in anticipation of fiery debates at the general assembly of about 1,100 voting members before polling begins. Ahead of the election, the rumour mills were kept churning by intriguing tales of candidates being set up, betrayal, insider trading, realignment of camps and anonymous letters to influence support for the two vying for the presidency - Tan Yew Sing of Inti Universal Holdings Bhd and Liew Choon Kong of Kong Wooi Fong Tea Merchants Sdn Bhd. While Tan is vice-president I of the chamber, Liew is one of nine vice-presidents. The next day, all the major Chinese media published news that Liew had agreed to support Tan as the top leader and he would retreat to the number two spot. On the following day, Liew called for a press conference to reveal the real story and declared that he was still gunning for the top post. Bong, who had previously backed Tan, surprised many by his about-turn when he recently threw his support behind Liew. He has shared the reasons with his close friends privately. In an interview with Sunday Star, Tan rates his chances of winning the presidency as 50-50, saying that half of his support will come from the Klang Valley and the other half from outlying branches. This former leader of Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (SCAH) used to be critical of government policies in Chinese culture and education, and is also likely to enjoy support from MCCC's overlapping members in SCAH. Groomed by the late Ngan to be the SCAH leader, he might also obtain support from Ngan's friends and business associates. Judging from statements made by many MCCC council members in the Chinese media, Tan appears to command over 50% support from the council, according to MCCC vice-presidents Ngan Teng Yee and Datuk Lim Heng Ee. Although Tan now has no business dealings in China, he says, "I want to lead MCCC to promote trade and investments between Malaysia and China. MCCC, as a national multiracial organisation, is the best platform to do so because it has attained recognition and status." Among the ambitious targets he has set for MCCC is to help more Malay entrepreneurs enter the Chinese market and to move annual bilateral trade to exceed US$100bil (RM410bil). But since last year, Tan has been a hot target of poison pen letters - no thanks to controversies he courted in past activities and associations. There are allegations he was involved in insider trading and setting Liew up. There is also talk that Malaysia and Chinese officials are wary of his past. On insider trading, the Securities Commission had reported in its 2014 Annual Report that Tan had paid RM778,258 as settlement for "breaches of insider trading provisions in the Securities Industries Act 1983" relating to shares of Inti in September 2007. says Tan. Tan's radical past is also known to have caused concern to official quarters. When he was leading SCAH's youth movement, he issued a statement condemning the repression and massacre of students at Tiananmen Square, Beijing, on June 4, 1989. While Tan rates his winning chance at 50%, his friends see him as having the edge. Indeed, he planned his strategy as early as a year ago. For Tan, it is also a plus to have won over Ngan Teng Yee - the son of the late Ngan. To secure more support from old-timers, Tan has convinced Tan Kai Hee of Hai-O Enterprise Bhd to support him.
Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall president Tan Yew Sing said the declining Chinese population was a natural trend due to urban culture.
He said more Chinese were moving to the urban areas, where they preferred to raise smaller families. "A significant portion of the Chinese community is also known to migrate overseas," said Tan.
Inti College President (Tan Yew Sing) together with faculty lecturers attending Dr. Shaun's EQ seminar.
Tan Yew Sing, president of the influential Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, perhaps characterized best the change in mindset: "We only need Malaysian-minded ministers who cater to the needs of all."
Chin Huat Wong is a fellow at the Penang Institute, a think tank linked to the Penang State Government. He earned his PhD from the University of Essex on a thesis focused on Malaysia's electoral and party systems. He is also a steering committee member of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0, also known as Bersih 2.0.