KAJANG: The best gift for the nation is the gift of unity in diversity. And basketball can be a unifying factor, said MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The Bentong MP will be supporting a basketball competition in his constituency called Voice of Unity 3x3 Basketball Charity.
“This is a good platform for unity. We chose basketball because it is an easy game,” he told reporters during a press conference held at UTAR Sungai Long yesterday.
Set to be held on Aug 6, the event will feature three-man teams from various races in Malaysia.
Participants who are corporate figures and sportsmen will be the highlight of the competition.
They include CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, AirAsia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Westports Holding Bhd CEO Ruben Gnanalingam and national shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei.
The event is organised by Youth Knighted, and those interested to participate may get in touch with them via phone at 012-636 9249 (Josephine Lee) or 012-640 1046 (Hedki Heng).
Fernandes, who was present at the press conference, said AirAsia won the world’s best airline award nine consecutive times because it harnesses talents of Malaysians from various walks of life without regard to race.
“We see each other as Malaysians. That’s our strength. The quicker Malaysians realise that our advantage is our diversity, the better for all of us,” he said.
Nazir pointed out that today, many young children do not get a chance to mix with other races at school, making it a problem to bring the various communities closer.
“Tony and I grew up in the 70s when our schools were very multiracial.
“Today we have to accept that for whatever reason, our children do not have the same opportunity, and we need to have more of these programmes to compensate for it,” he said.
Nazir added that next year, CIMB Foundation will be launching Jigsaw schools which will help children get to know their peers from other races.
At a later event, Liow launched the Internet+ Chinese Education Smart Teaching and Learning Scheme, which is a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The pioneer project will see some 14 secondary schools and UTAR receiving state-of-the-art cloud-based Mandarin learning system which will be implemented in collaboration with MCA, China’s Huaqiao University, Tang Chinese Education as well as UTAR.
Businessman Datuk Woo Swee Lian as well as Huaqiao University have pledged RMB2mil (RM1.27mil) for its implementation.