SPEECH BY THE RIGHT HONOURABLE CHIEF MINISTER OF SABAH TAN SRI DATUK SERI PANGLIMA MUSA HAJI AMAN AT THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA CONSUL-GENERAL IN KOTA KINABALU’S CHINESE NEW YEAR RECEPTION ON 9TH FEBRUARY 2018, AT PORT VIEW PALACE HALL, WISMA HAKKA, TANJUNG LIPAT LIKAS, KOTA KINABALU
I am honoured to join you here at this reception to welcome and celebrate Chinese New Year, and I thank the Consul-General in Kota Kinabalu for this invitation.
On behalf of the Sabah State Government, I wish to convey the Lunar New Year greetings to all who celebrate this festivity. I extend my best wishes for another year of prosperity and goodwill. During this festive season, Malaysians regardless of background celebrate this joyous occasion, upholding unity, harmony and mutual respect for one another.
Sabah is indeed a fine example of how our diversity of race, cultures, and religion do not separate us but instead bring is togther. We embrace each other’s differences and focus on positive values that each person brings to this melting pot.
In recent years, China has charted remarkable achievements whereby things are moving rapidly and its citizens are living a better life through the facilitation of better infrastructure. While Sabah has a much smaller population, the government is always working hard to ensure that the people have access to relevant infrastructure that could help improve livelihoods within the local context.
Globally, China is playing an increasingly important role. Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed building a community of a shared future for mankind. The Belt and Road Initiative demonstrates China's vision and efforts in regards to building this shared future and Malaysia has responded positively to this and other relevant initiatives.
Within the historical context, those who migrated from China and settled down here have made great contributions to the development of Sabah, particularly in the areas of trade, education and as professionals in the various fields. Today, Malaysian Chinese are an important part of the nation’s fabric.
Recent years have seen closer ties and increased exchanges between Sabah and various places in China. This is evident by the number of Chinese tourists who visit this state, the figure reaching 430,000 last year, as stated a short while ago. This has and continues to bring considerable economic benefits and spin-offs to Sabah. Based on current trends, we are expecting to welcome more Chinese tourists and investors in the near future.
Since its establishment, the Chinese Consulate-General’s Office in Kota Kinabalu has made a significant contribution to the ties between China and Sabah. We are always open to hearing from you on how to better facilitate trade, tourism, investment and other sectors, in line with a vision to bring greater prosperity to both China and Malaysia, and in particular Sabah. On this note, I congratulate you on hosting this celebration and I wish everyone here a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Chai! Thank you.