TAKE a bow, Patrick Soon-Shiong. Your ground-breaking medical achievements make our PE Chinese community extremely proud. ("Ex-PE man now LA's richest", The Herald, October 19).
Proud since he matriculated at the Chinese High School – funded and built by the community in apartheid South Africa when we were not allowed to attend white schools. This school had 100% matric pass rates and produced a higher than average number of professionals such as doctors and accountants.
The small South African Chinese community has been largely ignored in the new dispensation. Apartheid still exists for us and one only needs to look at job application forms which require one to state one's race. In apartheid South Africa, the race groups were White, Coloured, Asian and Black. Now it is White, Coloured, Indian and Black. China is a major trading partner. How do you explain to a delegation from China that local Chinese are being sidelined for jobs?
We often hear the cliche, "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer". How did the rich nations get rich and how did the poor ones get poor? The rich nations got rich through scientific and technological innovation, through people such as Soon-Shiong and Bill Gates.
What do the poor countries do? Besides exporting raw minerals, their most valuable assets – highly trained professionals – are exported free of charge.
Scientists deserve better recognition and need proper funding and research facilities. Imagine if we found a cure for Aids? I am pleased that we are involved in the SKA project.
The government needs to listen to people such as Professor Jonathan Jansen. Giving handouts to people or nationalisation is not economic empowerment, educating the nation is.
G Ah Hing, Port Elizabeth