The Chinese Overseas in Malaysia in an Era of Change: Remembering Lee Poh Ping


Penerbit UM (First published, 2018)
215 pages including Index


In stock

The Chinese Overseas in Malaysia in an Era of Change: Remembering Lee Poh Ping is published to remember the late Prof Lee Poh Ping, a former faculty member at Universiti Malaya. The genesis of this volume of published work was a conversation the editors (Lee Kam Hing and Cheong Kee Cheok) had with Prof Lee Poh Ping several years ago about his work on the Chinese overseas in Malaysia. At that time, and after a brief hiatus, he had published several papers on this topic with us. With a few more projects in the works, he opined that we would have enough to produce a volume of writings on a subject very close to his heart. In the following years, these projects produced published papers, rendering his original idea a feasible endeavour. Unfortunately, he passed away before he could realise this project. As his close colleagues of many years, we feel the completion of his proposed project is the best way to honour his memory.

The Chinese Overseas in Malaysia in an Era of Change: Remembering Lee Poh Ping is more than just about Prof Lee, however. The study of the Chinese overseas is an important area of academic inquiry in its own right, with the passage of time bringing about changes both in the study focus and in the community under study itself. In the former case, the early focus on business networks has given way to issues of identity in host countries. With regard to the latter, the migrant community has witnessed intergenerational change. With more and more of the community born and raised in host countries, the very nature of this community is being transformed. With the younger generations losing touch with China, the idea of whether this community constitutes diaspora, defined as having a close relationship with the country of origin, is called into question.

The dramatic rise of China as an economic powerhouse has complicated the equation further. This rise has turned on its head the prevailing notion of the country of origin as less developed than the country of destination. While no longer closely linked with their homeland, few Chinese overseas would fail to recognise the new China’s attraction, if not as a potential place to do business, at least to identify with it culturally and with a sense of pride. This rise also has potential consequences for Chinese overseas’ host countries, both in terms of their relations with China, and their perceptions of the Chinese overseas.

These developments are only beginning to be explored. The work editors did in this book represents just the beginning of research that we are confident will surely follow. In this sense, we hope that its contents, for instance in the chapter comparing motivations for Chinese overseas’ financial flows between generations, open the door to more varied research on the Chinese overseas. In doing so, it will help dispel any perception that after several decades, research on the Chinese overseas is reaching its limits.

These new developments aside, the editors also hope that readers of this volume will find in its chapters the richness of the subject and the many dimensions that the study of Chinese overseas covers. Many studies dealing with specific communities in particular locations reveal both commonalities and differences that raise questions as to whether the community as a whole can be adequately categorised and compared with other diasporic communities. Research gaps also exist despite the already copious amount of research, an example being details of remittances to China, which another chapter of the book addresses. Further, individual- or firm-level studies, much less frequently researched, can yield many insights that have hitherto not been revealed. And even at this level, some areas are better traversed than others. As an example, cases of business success far outnumber studies of those who fail—in business or to adapt to their host countries.

List of Tables and Annexes

1. Introduction
The Importance of the Chinese Overseas
LPP’s Writings in this Volume and on the Chinese Overseas Role

2. Responding to Crisis – Lessons from the Great Depression
China and Southeast Asia during the Great Depression
Coping with the Depression: The Role of Exchange Rates and Trade
Remittances and Chinese Overseas Migrants in Southeast Asia
Conclusion: Lessons for Global Financial Crises?

3. Surviving Financial Crises
The Malayan Chinese Economy in the 1920s and 30s
Malaysian Chinese Economy in the 1990s
The Great Depression and its Impact
The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and its Impact
Contrasts and Commonalities

4. Housing Developers and Speculators During the Asian Financial Crisis
Comparing the Role Of Real Estate in Both Crises
Real estate in the AFC: The Malaysia Case
The Covernmenrs Response. Danaharta
The Ethnic Chinese Dimension
Further Insights from the Danaharta Data

5. Remittances to China: Magnitude, Nature and Transmission Mechanisms
The Magnitude and Nature of Remittances
Institutions Of the Remittance “Network”
Relief Funds and Bonds
Ebb and Flow of Remittances
Impact On Malaya of Remittances to China

6. From Patrimonialism to Profit: Economic Ties with China
Patrimonialism: The Chinese Overseas Before World War II
Transition: From the End of World War II to 1990
Profit Since 1999

7. Robert Kuok — Family, Dialect and State
Longevity of Chinese Overseas Family Businesses and Robert Kuok
Johor Origins and Early Years of the Kuok Empire
Sources of Business Identity: Making of the Kuok Empire
Dialect Groupings and Business
State ang Business
Family Control and Professional Management
Overseas Diversification — Singapore, Hong Kong and China
Conclusion: Can the Kuok Group survive?

8. Chinese Overseas Internationalisation — The Cases of Robert Kuok and Royal Selangor
Theories of Firm nternationalisation: ABrief Critical Review
Nature of and Circumstances Facing Chinese overseas family Enterprises
Robert Kuok and the Kuok Group
Sub-ethinic Identity
The State
Royal Selangor
Sub-ethnic Identity
The State
Conclusion: Similarity, Contrasts and Implications for Theory

9. Postscript: China and the Chinese Overseas Today


Weight0.361 kg
Dimensions23 × 15.5 × 1.5 cm

, ,




Year Published


There are no reviews yet

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.