Lauded for their role in economy

Guests were treated to an energetic drum performance.

Guests were treated to an energetic drum performance.

THE Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) celebrated the Lunar New Year on a grand scale at Wisma Huazong in Seri Kembangan, Kuala Lumpur.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong was guest of honour at the dinner attended by more than 1,300 association members and guests from the retail industry.

“Retail trade in Malaysia has been recording strong growth, both in terms of value and volume; retail trade registered double-digit growth for three consecutive quarters in 2017.

“Retail trade in the first 11 months of 2017 increased to RM410.5bil from RM367.7bil in the same period for 2016, a growth of 11.6%,” the minister said.

Dr Wee added that retail business made up a key part of the Malaysian economy, and played an important role in our country’s economic future.

“MRCA members have set the benchmark as market leaders with strong footholds in their respective industries to be listed in the Malaysia Book of Records for their notable achievements.

“In addition, MRCA members’ collectively employ over 100,000 staff. Given their capacity for competency and effectiveness, they play their part in aiding the government to boost the economy,” he said.

(From fourth left) Dr Wee, Chua, Choon and Chai with council members getting ready for the yee sang-tossing session.
(From fourth left) Dr Wee, Chua, Choon and Chai with council members getting ready for the yee sang-tossing session. 

Dr Wee also announced that the Government was working with KK Mart in the upcoming KR1M 2.0 programme to make affordable shopping a bigger reality for consumers.

“The Government aims to open up to 1,000 KR1M 2.0 outlets in 2018 and work towards having more stores towards 2020.

“The KR1M 2.0 will not only offer lower priced essential goods, but also branded items.

“We can lower prices by reducing dependence on middlemen for supply and cooperating with government agencies such as Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority and the Fisheries Board,” he said.

Speaking at the festive occasion themed The Year of Gold, organising chairman Datuk Seri Dr K.K. Chai, who is also MRCA vice-president, equated the event to an open house hosted by Malaysians, uniting and strengthening the bond of friendship among people from all walks of life.

“The Year of the Earth Dog 2018 is a good time for lifestyle changes and the start of new business ventures.

“Success will be achieved through quality communication and learning that being selfless and generous can bring a more bountiful harvest in return,” said Chai, who is also KK Group of Companies founder and executive chairman. He thanked sponsors for making the banquet a success.

MRCA president Datuk Seri Garry Chua echoed Chai’s sentiments, adding that Chinese New Year was a good time to remind us of our blessings and inculcate the good values of gratitude, kindness and respect.

The event kicked off with a singing performance by the Presidents Council – Chai, Chua, founder Datuk Eddie Choon, past presidents Datuk Albert Chiang, Datuk Tay Sim Kim, Datuk Seri Nelson Kwok, Datuk Lee Hwa Cheng and Datuk Liaw Choon Liang.

To mark the festive occasion, Choon, Chua, Chai and council members took to the stage with Dr Wee for a yee sang-tossing session.

The mood was further enlivened by a drum show, wushu as well as a special dance performance by MRCA council members.

The various organising chairmen of MRCA 2017 events were also presented with recognition awards to acknowledge their efforts in making every event a success.