KOTA KINABALU: Sabah leaders send well-wishes and Chinese New Year greetings to all celebrating the occasion, calling for unity and urging everyone to stay healthy as they usher in the year of the Ox, according to the lunar calendar.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor (pic) had wished for new hopes, strength, happiness and prosperity for all and reminded Sabahans that unity is what makes them strong.
“Our strength lies in our people, the diversity of our traditions, ethnicity and language does not divide us but helps foster a harmonious community, ” he said.
“Let us be more united and move forward for a progressive Sabah. Even though 2020 was a tough year for us, we must stay strong and move forward to face the Covid-19 pandemic and the effects of it together, ” he said.
Hajiji said it was vital for Sabah to grow economically, in a spirit similar to that of an ox which is responsible, hardworking, brave, skillful and confident.
He assured the Chinese community here that their problems and grouses will always be listened to and addressed in the best possible way.
“Let us continue to foster mutual respect for one another as we work towards making Sabah a better place, ” he said.
Former chief minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, meanwhile, said as the world welcomes the lunar new year with the new norms amid the pandemic and lockdowns, many are not able to visit each other at this time.
He hopes this will not deter us from respecting one another and wishes for all, especially celebrants, to stay safe and have a healthy life ahead.
Another former chief minister, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, reminded Sabahans to stay united and strong to fight Covid-19 and revive Sabah’s economy.
“The Chinese are welcoming the year of the Ox with hope and fear. Hope for a recovery of the economy and world peace but fear for this due to the pandemic, ” he said.
He urged the federal government to assist Sabah in terms of funding and for Sabah to look forward to a better tomorrow as it waits for the Sabah Maju Jaya plan to start.
Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin said staying safe and healthy this year will be the new reunion and despite families being physically apart, they are still together at heart.
“We understand the hardships that you are going through as a lot of you are separated from your loved ones but I believe if we are united, we will be able to overcome this pandemic soon, ” he said.
In wishing everyone a peaceful and healthy year ahead, he said everyone can enjoy freedom and meet each other soon when the battle against Covid-19 is won.
Likas assemblyman Tan Lee Fatt hoped everyone would take good care of their health during these trying times.
Tawau MP Datuk Christina Liew, who is also Api-Api assemblyman, said the year of the Ox symbolises strength, diligence, hard work, and persistence in the midst of obstacles.
“As we usher in the year of the Ox, we resolve to be sturdy, resilient and industrious like the Ox for a productive year in all aspects, ” she said.
She said as leaders, political or otherwise, they should not shy away from challenges that come their way and instead seek solutions with a positive attitude and an optimistic outlook.
Liew reminded the people and leaders that political stability in the country is of paramount importance for socio-economic development, progress and prosperity.
At this juncture, she called on Sabahans to cherish and perpetuate its multi-racial unity, religious diversity and cultural plurality for which the state is known for.