KUALA LUMPUR: The government and the people should make necessary adjustment to their daily affairs, including those which involved the four key sectors of politics, economy, culture and education, in order to better cope with the persisting Covid-19 pandemic, said Tan Sri TC Goh, the president of the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong).
"It is an undeniable fact that we are currently going through an unprecedented tough time of an excruciating pandemic, political chaos, and a freezing economy," he said.
He reiterated that in this extraordinary and challenging time, politicians from both sides of the divide should put aside politics and unite to lead the people to fight the pandemic and for a rapid economic recovery.
Goh, who is also the president of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) said this while speaking at its 14th National Congress at Tan Sri Koo Yuen Kim Auditorium, at Wisma Huazong here on Sunday on Sunday (Dec 27). The event was officiated at by its honorary life president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah.
He said, Malaysia's present woeful political and economic situation was best depicted by the three Chinese Han characters of the year, in descending order, of "Yi" (疫), which translates to "epidemic, disease," followed by "luàn" (乱) which means "chaotic", and "kùn" (困) which means "stranded". These characters were unveiled in the Malaysia Annual Selection of Chinese Characters which was jointly organised by Huazong and Han Culture Centre Malaysia, recently.
"This inevitably reminded me that we should perhaps make some necessary adjustment to the said four key sectors, in order to better cope and navigate through this devastating pandemic," he said.
While acknowledging that the four key sectors are still important and must not be neglected, and commending the government for allocating the lion's share of Budget 2021 to the Ministry of Education, he nonetheless expressed regret that unlike in the past two years, the government had decided to stop funding Chinese independent schools and the three Chinese community-run university colleges in the country next year.
He said he hoped that Chinese-based political parties and Cabinet members could implore the government to review this issue. He also asked the Chinese community and businesses to continue to do whatever they can within their capacity and ability to assist and support Chinese education in the country during this trying time.
Goh also acknowledged that the Chinese community was concerned with the ongoing political chaos in the country, citing the two regime changes within a short span of two years since the GE14 on May 9,2018, besides the incessant politicking from both sides of the divide.
He said such political chaos which involved exploitation of the Federal Constitution, race and religion has inevitably undermined political stability and inflicted more hardship to a vast majority of ordinary Malaysians who were already struggling to cope with the pandemic.
He asked both politicians and interest groups in the country to immediately stop their irresponsible antics of exploiting and fanning racial and religious issues to achieve their selfish agendas, instead to strive to promote greater unity, peace and harmony among the people.
He also called on the Chinese community to continue to remain calm, and to exercise great wisdom and be tactful in safeguarding their interests and position, amidst the current situation.
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