IIAS Newsletter 45 Autumn 2007

From tin to Ali Baba's gold: the evolution of Chinese entrepreneurship in Malaysia

Chin Yee Whah

Since the colonial era, Chinese businesses in Malaysia have adapted to economic and political changes by evolving from tin-mining and rubber cultivation to commodity production, banking and finance, construction and property development, and industrial and advanced technology manufacturing. Simultaneously, intra-ethnic and Chinese family businesses have evolved into inter-ethnic and plural enterprises in order to adapt to government policies that favour indigenous people. With the onslaught of globalisation, Chinese entrepreneurs have transformed anew, proving once again that Chinese entrepreneurship is not static but dynamic.

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