KOTA KINABALU – Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah is confident that the Chinese community would give Barisan Nasional another mandate in the 14th general election (GE14) to form the government at state and parliamentary level.
“This is based on BN’s excellent track record in managing state and national affairs for the wellbeing of the people regardless of race,” he said.
In regard to Sabah, Raymond who had served as the assemblyman for Tanjung Papat in Sandakan for more than 25 years, said BN’s excellent track record was not confined to the last five years but the 25 years since it took over the state, throughout which the Chinese community benefited in various aspects.
“From my point of view, the Chinese community by and large is more focused on their livelihood, daily activities and also very much on the cost of living. They are very concerned about their children’s education. It is part of our culture that we give very high focus on our children’s education.
“What the Sabah state government has done in helping the Chinese community is mostly to encourage and to support particularly in the area of Chinese education. It is not just in Sandakan but the whole of Sabah.
“Like our Chinese independent schools, they are getting financial support consistently. And the financial support is not getting any lesser but every time there is improvement in terms of the amount of the contributions given to the schools,” he told Bernama.
For the record, Raymond who is also Gerakan vice president, said the Sabah state government had allocated almost RM300 million to non Muslim schools and houses of worship in the last 10 years.
He said under the leadership of Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, financial assistance for non Muslim schools and houses of worship was increased to RM30 million annually from only RM1.5 million when he (Musa) first took over the helm.
“The other thing of course is our temples. The state government has not only been giving financial assistance but also approval without much question to the Chinese community in building their temples,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said Sabah’s religious and racial diversity had always been a non issue including for the Chinese community when it came to living as one society.
“Even in my own area, Tanjong Papat you have the Sandakan district mosque very close to a very big Chinese temple in one area. And the Chinese community and the Malays in the kampung have been living there for so many years with such harmony. And never at any one occasion, you have issues or problems relating to religion.”
On the BN government’s economic policy, Raymond said the Chinese community in Malaysia had their own history and major role in nation building.
He said the country’s good ties with China for instance, had borne fruit in the form of sizeable investments that would have a huge impact on Malaysia’s economic progress.
On Malaysia and Sabah’s economy, the state Industrial Development minister said the people, including the Chinese community should give credit to Musa for what he had accomplished for the state and to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for leading the country with full responsibility.
“Sometimes when you are too happy with your life, you forget who are behind all those efforts and hard work to make our state and country a better place to live in.
“Sometimes it is so funny that when the economy is strong and the ringgit and oil price strengthen, we never give credit to those behind the accomplishments,” Raymond said. – BERNAMA