|My Chinese edition book is now circulated in the Auckland City libraries New Zealand National Library in Wellington.
The author, a 4th generation Wah Jiao (Overseas Chinese) reflects on how a group of Chinese were forced to leave China because of the Opium war and the aggressive colonisation of the British of China. Most of the people were forced to work in extremely difficult, hot and humid conditions under the threat of head hunters/ the local natives.
These Chinese people were not considered to be citizens of the land. When the land gained independence from the British, they were considered second class citizens. In 1969, there was a racial riot where the local Malays fought with the Chinese. The Chinese were not allowed to return to China.
When the author left for Canada and New Zealand, her eyes were opened. In New Zealand, the Chinese were subjected to the Poll tax, The Chinese Immigrants Act was passed by Parliament, introducing a ‘poll tax’ of £10 (equivalent to $1630 in 2013). and the poll tax was increased to £100 ($18,400).
The author felt indignant with the bad treatment of the Chinese in Malaysia and New Zealand. This motivated her to write her book, to tell the world, and future generations that the Chinese abroad/ Wah Jiao had been oppressed.
“Writing my book helped me matured that I began to appreciate my Chinese rich heritage. I regretted growing up I ignored the Chinese language mainly because of the system in Malaysia. I made up for it by learning as much as I can about the history of my family and of China.”