KUALA LUMPUR: Just-retired Bernama general manager Datuk Yong Soo Heong and 132 others received 'China-Malaysia Star of Friendship' awards in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of China-Malaysia diplomatic relations.
Star Publications (M) Bhd group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, badminton player Datuk Lee Chong Wei and singer Shila Amzah were among those who received the commemorative award from Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang at a hotel here on Thursday.
"Bernama has spread a significant role in terms of bilateral relations between China and Malaysia since (second prime minister) Tun Razak went over to Beijing.
"We also produced a 100-page pictorial book named 'Ties That Bind' this year to commemorate the 40th anniversary," Yong told Bernama.
Present were former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and wife Tun Jeanne Abdullah and former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam.
With the award, the recipients and their spouses would be granted a five-year multiple entry visa upon request.
In his speech, Huang hoped all recipients would continue to support the development of China-Malaysia relationship and commit to the friendship of the two countries and its people.
He said both countries had demonstrated booming vitality and strong power in the last 40 years and entered comprehensive, stable and pragmatic development.
"Let's join our efforts to promote further cultural exchange, to encourage and facilitate non-governmental exchanges and communication, to narrow the distance between the hearts of the two peoples and lay a firmer and all-weather social foundation for China-Malaysia friendship", he said.