KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will continue supporting the numerous cultural festivals and celebrations by people of all races in the state, says Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
The Chief Minister said this is because the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) state government is a tolerant government and one that encourages the people of various races and religions here to preserve and uphold their traditions.
Hajiji said this goes to the Chinese communities in Sabah, who, like the rest of Malaysians, have been seeing the Lunar New Year celebrations cancelled over the past two years due to the pandemic.
“So I am sure this year is extra special for all celebrants,” he said when launching the Chinese New Year carnival in the city on Saturday (Jan 22) night.
He said apart from cultural aspects, the state government will also ensure fair and just developments and care for all communities in Sabah.
To recap, Hajiji said the state had allocated over RM48mil for various purposes for non-Muslim organisations, houses of worship and vernacular schools.
He said various economic programmes including the Sabah Maju Jaya initiative that would benefit all Sabahans have also been lined up and are in the midst of implementation.
“I am confident that with undivided support given to the government, we will be able to achieve what we’ve planned for,” he said.
Earlier in the event, Hajiji presented a mock cheque of RM200,000 to the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah, represented by its president Tan Sri T.C. Goh.
Meanwhile on Sunday, local community leaders and associations in the Tuaran district will be getting early ang pows from the state.
This comes following an announcement that local Chinese community leaders (Kapitan) will be getting RM2,000 each and associations, RM5,000 each.
Hajiji said this Chinese New Year aid is a sign of the government’s care and appreciation for the Chinese community in the district.
The Sulaman assemblyman hopes this Lunar New Year of the Tiger will bring prosperity and healings for the state economy and its people.
“What is unique about the celebration in Sabah is that everyone can come together and celebrate regardless of race and religion,” he said.
On other matters, Hajiji foresees the reopening of international borders to allow for more tourists to visit Sabah soon.
“When borders have been reopened, I am sure the tourism and other economic industries will pick up,” Hajiji said.