KOTA KINABALU, February
4, 2016: Welcoming the lunar new year is the one event that connects
peoples of Chinese descent all over the world. This has been going on for
a few thousand years without stop and without end. In today's global
village, the celebration of Xin Chun, the new spring, has become visibly
People of all cultures watch with awe the extent of the Xin Chun
In China, one hundred and more million people make the trip
home for family reunion, making Xin Chun the biggest annual human
migration ever in the world.
Outside China, in smaller numbers spread far and wide, Chinese people will
similarly and dutifully celebrate this Xin Chun like the few thousand Xin
Chuns before, whether in peace or in turbulence.
Chinese people have been generally well embraced by indigenous peoples
over five centuries of taking deep roots in countries around the world.
That there are Chinese societies in every nook and corner of the world is
testimony to this reality.
Central to this success of the Chinese to
settle down harmoniously in other societies is our cultural values of
respect for others, love for a harmonious society and hard work.
Malaysians similarly remain grateful for the nation's harmony, progress
and positive development.
Chinese Malaysians have contributed towards the
progress of the nation and a harmonious fabric of society, especially in Sabah and Sarawak.
The future development of the Asian region remains
positive for the peoples of Malaysia with the prospects of the Maritime
Silk Road under the "One Belt, One Road" concept.
Chinese quietly look back at the humiliation of the 19th century, Chinese
now live with great hope that the peaceful rise of China will bring about
global harmony and a sense of pride in being Chinese in the 21st century.
Understandably, the rise of China, however peaceful, will be accompanied
by the anxiety of some nations. Ethnic Chinese communities in these
countries could be viewed with both suspicion and envy.
Herein lies our greatest challenge. The new year of the fire monkey is
predicted to be one of economic downturn and social upheavals. Against
this backdrop of upheavals that spawn conflicts, now more than ever, we
should practise our strong tradition of social harmony, respect for others
and hard work.
Abrasiveness and arrogance have no place in our conduct of
affairs in this dangerous era. Instead, we should be guided by civility,
courtesy and mutual respect in our daily lives.
With these words, I wish everybody a happy, healthy and prosperous new
year of the Fire Monkey. Gong Xi Fa Cai!
By Datuk Yong Teck Lee,
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Honorary President, Global Union for Tshung Tsin and Hakka Association