With spring greeting other parts of the world, we welcome the beginning of the prosperous Year of the Rabbit, as the tiger retires to let the rabbit shine us with good fortune. On behalf of the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH), I wish everyone a happy Chinese New Year, an auspicious Year of The Rabbit, and a year of peace and joy.

Once again, I would like to especially thank our guest of honour, YAB Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, for his attendance at our 2023 Chinese New Year gathering. He will also be giving a speech himself in the next session. Thank you.

As we step into 2023, our country’s COVID situation has slowed down, and our lives are gradually returning to normal. However, the virus still exists. I hope you will abide by the latest COVID SOPs and keep protecting yourselves. For years, our Chinese New Year gatherings have always kept to the tradition of opening our doors to celebrate with everyone. Because of the pandemic, we have put the celebrations on hold to avoid the continuous spread of the virus. After several years of lockdown, the pandemic has finally toned down. And so, we revived our CNY activities again for this Year of the Rabbit.

Since the 2020 Sheraton move, our country has been in political turmoil. From a hung parliament to the formation of a unity government, the national crisis has finally eased down. Our PM has repeatedly reminded all parties that this election is a pyrrhic victory; neither side has completely lost or won. Therefore, we need to work together and cooperate, for the sake of the people and the country. PM Anwar also emphasised that the new government he leads will never tolerate corruption, let alone compromise to acts of corruption. For this reason, our PM, who is also the Minister of Finance, has repeatedly emphasised that the new government will stop awarding contracts through direct negotiations and investigate government-linked companies (GLCs). He will never exempt anyone who is corrupt and abuses power from the investigation. For these measures to prohibit corruption and curb cronyism, our NGO stands by them and hopes that all government project bidding will be conducted with more openness and transparency.

Our PM also pointed out that the 2023 Budget will soon be presented in February. The national spending plan will cover targeted measures to protect the poor and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), reduce subsidies towards large companies with huge profits; and execute improvements over social protection plans. This is aimed at protecting the vulnerable groups in Malaysia and hopefully will meet the expectations of voters who support the current unity government. Our NGO is happy to see that all parties have placed aside differences and paid more attention to people’s livelihoods. Our government so far has swiftly taken office to solve the problems being faced by the people, such as the cost of living, rising prices, employment and the economy, education and health. Under the leadership of PM Anwar, we also hope that the unity government ensures the well-being of the people and restores public confidence through stronger economic growth. Through better governance, our country will be led back on the right path to success.

Our NGO still adheres to the concept of multiracial harmony in governing the country, shunning policies in favour of race and religion. We further support Malaysia’s international reputation of peace and harmony in diversity.

This year, we are celebrating the 100th anniversary since the year of its founding, 1923. The activities for our centennial anniversary are also in full swing, with our member committees busy with preparations. Our current anniversary budget has reached millions, expenses are expected to be high, as our NGO, a national cultural heritage, enters a new century. By a stroke of coincidence, the completed construction of this building occurred together with today’s visit by PM Anwar. Our NGO hopes the government will also extend their generosity to contribute funds so that our 100th-anniversary celebration will flourish and stay a heritage icon. Finally, I wish everyone a great Year of the Rabbit and strive for greatness for our country together. We will build an ideal nation that progresses for the people. Let us all build together a truly Madani Nation. Gong Xi Fa Cai! Thank you!

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