Forging closer China-Malaysia ties

PETALING JAYA: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says he is looking forward to working with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for a greater China-Malaysia bilateral relationship.

According to Sin Chew Daily, Li congratulated Muhyiddin as the eighth Prime Minister through a phone call on Monday.

In his message, Li said China and Malaysia have been good friends, neighbours, and important partners for a long time, maintaining good momentum in developments throughout the years.

Therefore, he said he is looking forward to working with Muhyiddin to continue to strengthen the comprehensive and strategic China-Malaysia partnership, including achieving greater results in cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Li said such cooperation would push the China-Asean and other regional cooperation to a new level, benefiting the people of the entire region.

China is Malaysia’s largest trading partner for 10 consecutive years and the largest source of foreign investments in the manufacturing industry for three consecutive years.

According to Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian, Malaysia-China bilateral trade hit a record high last year with figures from the first 11 months already surpassing the previous year’s total at US$111bil (RM455bil).

In 2018, bilateral trade between the two countries was US$108.66bil (RM443bil).

Meanwhile, the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Malaysia (ACCCIM) wants Muhyiddin’s government to get down to business soon especially in reviving the economy.

“It is imperative to stabilise the country’s politics and focus on reviving the economy.

“The determination in bringing round the economy is apparent in the appointment of experienced individuals, such as banker Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz as the Finance Minister.

“The appointment of an experienced Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed to look after economy matters also shows the government’s determination to revitalize the economy as quickly as possible,” it said in a statement.

ACCCIM added that the setting up of a special division under the Prime Minister’s Department to handle Sabah and Sarawak affairs would surely promote the economic and social development of both states.

Federation Of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) president Tan Sri Goh Tian Chuan said the appointment of four senior ministers in place of a deputy prime minister was unconventional yet strategic and impressive.

“This will bring about positive results for the Perikatan Nasional coalition and the country as a whole.

“Also, the inclusion of multiracial elected representatives, including those from Sabah and Sarawak, also reflects an inclusive and dynamic political outlook,” he said in a statement.

Goh also called on the Perikatan government to be open and moderate in handling Chinese education issues, including setting aside systematic allocation to develop Chinese schools and recognising the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).

“We call on the government to allocate funds to the private colleges and universities run by the Chinese community so that these institutions can also benefit from its systematic aid.

“Although the new Cabinet line-up has a small number of Chinese ministers, the Chinese community is hopeful that the government will still care for the people and continue to pay attention to their concerns and rights including providing assistance,” he said.

Goh added that with the Cabinet being formed, the government could finally move full swing to improve the economy, especially in executing the stimulus package to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

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