A Chinese powerbroker at the centre of a political donations scandal, Huang Xiangmo, has moved to rally ethnic community support for controversial hate speech laws, sparking a political brawl and claims he could be trying to minimise scrutiny of China in Australia.
In an opinion article titled “18C is a bedrock of society” published in Chinese-language newspaper Sydney Today, the Chinese billionaire argued against winding back section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which restricts speech that insults and offends.
“If the hard-line advocates of free speech succeed in having section 18C of the act repealed major cracks could open in society,” Mr Huang said. “This is the last thing we need at a time when there is heated debate in many places around the world about such things as immigration, foreign workers and radical Islam.”
Mr Huang, who heads property developer is Yuhu Group and is an associate of former ministers Bob Carr and Andrew Robb, was at the centre of national debate earlier this year after it emerged he paid a $5000 personal legal bill for Labor senator Sam Dastyari.