Sam Yau: A voice for migrant communities
By Li Huizi
Council Candidate Sam Yau was encouraged to run as an independent in the October 12 local body elections after the March 15 mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques.
“I’m from Malaysia which is an Islamic Country. I don’t like to see these things happened in New Zealand, which is a peaceful country,” Yau, who is President of Canterbury Malaysian Association, told Palmary.
One Malaysian Muslim was killed and three were injured in the most serious terrorist attack in New Zealand history.
“Christchurch is not only a beautiful garden city, but a very peaceful city as well,” he said, adding that his Malaysian background, which is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country, will help him to serve the community well.
Yau came to New Zealand in 1985 from Malaysia where the legal system and government structures are similar to New Zealand. Both New Zealand and Malaysia are the members of the Commonwealth of Nations. He said he could speak out for the local community through the proper channel.
The property developer and real estate agent is running for the Halswell Ward in southwest Christchurch. He has visited
thousands of local households and listened to the issues that are important to the residents in the Halswell ward such as suburbs’ security, lack of recreation facilities and lack of high schools there.
Having moved to Christchurch 35 years ago and graduated from University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, Yau said he sees Christchurch is a city of opportunity from many perspectives such as from investment, tourism, education and sports points of view, and would like to see Christchurch becomes a Sports Tourism Centre so that more jobs could be created.
“There are not many cities around the world that so close to both the sea and the mountain and yet still have vast area of flat land available for potential development. Christchurch has the potential to become the best Sports Tourism City in New Zealand,” Yau said.
He and his wife, a music teacher, and their son, an audiologist, are all living in Christchurch.