Salam sejahtera dan Gong Xi Fa Cai kepada seluruh Anak Sarawak daripada kaum Cina yang menyambut perayaan Tahun Baru Cina pada tahun ini.
I wish all our Chinese friends a happy New Year and may the Year of the Rooster bring many good things and prosperity to all of you.
Ushering in the Lunar New Year is a time of joy and celebrations for our Chinese friends according to the tradition handed down to them by their ancestors. The Lunar New Year is a much-awaited occasion every year and well-before the actual day, one cannot but feel and notice the anticipation in the air. Malls and shops are adorned with traditional decorations mainly in red and we can see our Chinese friends busy around the house with their sprucing up, cleaning and painting.   
We have been shocked by the sudden demise of my predecessor Allahyarham Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Adenan bin Haji Satem. Our thought and prayers are always with him and the family that he left behind.

The passing of Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan is without doubt a great loss to Sarawak and even the nation. The immense outpouring of grief from Sarawakians from all walks of life and non-Sarawakians alike is a testimony of the tremendous respect and honour that the people of Sarawak are affording him for all that he had done for a better Sarawak in the short two years or so that he was Chief Minister. As an outstanding leader, he left a legacy that all Sarawakians are proud of and provided us the direction to follow in the years to come.
I sincerely hope that in our times of sadness, his memory will always be with us and provide us with the inspiration to come out strong to continue his legacy for the betterment of Sarawak. Let me give the assurance that I will continue with his multi-racialism approach and also the policies that he had laid down.

Sarawak is a place where the respective races are free to practice their culture, tradition, and religion without hindrance. We celebrate and find strength in our differences rather than letting them divide us. For us diversity is beauty and strength, and not division.

The Lunar New Year celebration has become part of our cultural diversity in Sarawak much like other traditional festivals and religious celebrations. The forefathers of our Chinese friends brought with them their culture and tradition from China a hundred over years ago. Of course Sarawakians Chinese a few generations after their forefathers do not look to mainland China anymore as their homeland. They do go back to China once in a while to visit relatives and friends but they will return to Sarawak after their holidays. Sarawak is their home and they are not “pendatang”.

I sincerely hope that our Chinese friends will take time off to indulge in the simpler and down-to-earth things in life like enjoying your favourite food or drinks, the joy of reuniting with family members and having a pleasant time in the company of friends. Make it also a time for us to connect with one another and bring cheers to people who have less than us and those who are unfortunate in one way or another.

Dear friends, as we join our Chinese friends to celebrate the New Year, I invite all of you, members of the older generations in particular to look back at the past where our multi-racial society was more closely-knitted in the ways we conduct our everyday lives. We played, went to picnic, frequent the same coffee shops and have fun together, not caring very much whether one is Malay, Chinese, Dayak or Orang Ulu.

The faster pace of life and the pursuit of modernity have somehow lessened our interaction which is not at all conducive to nurturing a cohesive and harmonious society. Not all of these are lost though as we still cherish our closeness especially during festive occasions where we often make it a point to visit our friends. We must continue this tradition of exchanging visits to enhance our level of civic engagement that is vital for a harmonious Sarawak.
It cannot be denied that the Chinese community has always been an important part of the State’s political and economic life. The Chinese business acumen, their vision and industriousness have positioned the community to be in the forefront of business, trade and industry in the State. The businesses and industries have provided thousands of jobs for our people and bring revenue to the State through taxes. I would like to give the reassurance that the government will continue to adopt a policy that is friendly to the business community and investors as laid down by my predecessor.
I must thank the Chinese community for having shown trust in and willingness to work again with other communities in our power-sharing government. There’s no other way we could move forward except to work together for the benefit of the state and the people. Let us not forget that the Chinese community was among the first to come forward to support a coalition government based on the concept of power sharing in 1970.

Sarawak belongs to all of us and Sarawak is big enough for all of us. Each and every one of us has a duty towards the well-being and development of Sarawak. Sarawak has a small population with substantial amount of natural resources which we must exploit to our advantage wisely. It’s not impossible for us to build Sarawak into an industrialized state with tight-knit populations, high levels of environmental and biodiversity preservation and low levels of pollution which have become the hallmark of many developed countries in the West. We must take pride in our local ecology and work hard to protect it and let me reiterate that we must make Sarawak’s natural environment as pristine as we can.

Dear friends, in this time of joy and celebration I am calling on all Sarawakians to make time to visit one another in the spirit of our unique open-house tradition. Intermingling would allow us to interact meaningfully and be able to understand each other better. We cannot nurture and strengthen the bond of friendship among us without a good knowledge of our friends’ culture, tradition and religious beliefs.

Saya menyeru kepada saudara dan saudari yang bukan daripada keturunan Cina supaya berkunjung ke rumah-rumah terbuka rakan-rakan kita daripada kaum Cina dalam usaha berterusan untuk memperkukuhkan perpaduan dalam kalangan kita yang pelbagai agama, bangsa dan budaya.

Akhir kata, sekali lagi saya mengucapkan Selamat Tahun Baru Cina 2017 dan bergembiralah di samping keluarga dan rakan-rakan. Saya dan keluarga mengucapkan Gong Xi Fa Cai.
Terima kasih.

Sumber jabatan penerangan malaysia sarawak

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