Daily Express
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
Established since 1963
'Spring Fest' hoped to boost M'sia-China ties

Published on: Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Ma Zhong Friendship Association hopes the 40th Malaysia-China Diplomatic Relationship anniversary celebration, which officially started with the "Cultures of China Festival of Spring" performance here Monday, will further enhance exchanges between people of this country and the republic.

This is particularly for Sabah, which, lately has been experiencing an increasing number of Chinese tourist arrivals, and presently is in the process of boosting its socio-economic sectors.

"We hope that this performance, which was attended by people from all backgrounds not only further strengthens Malaysia-China ties but also enhances exchanges between people of both this country and the republic," said the association's president Dr Oh Ei Sun, when met at the welcoming dinner it held for the China Overseas Exchange Association, led by its troupe head Hu Jun, at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa here Sunday in conjunction with the Monday night performance.

"Sabah in particular has been receiving an increasing number of Chinese tourist arrivals which we hope will continue," he said.

"Also Chinese investors of whom we hope to see more coming to the State to invest in many sectors including hotels and resorts to accommodate the expected continued increase in Chinese tourists," he added.

Monday night's cultural performance, which involved over 50 performers, including university students, all of whom are from China, is the first in the series of commemorative activities for the 40th Malaysia-China Diplomatic Relationship anniversary to be held either in this country or China.

"We feel very proud because the China Overseas Exchange Association, which is the largest non-governmental organisation in the republic, has trust in us and let us co-organise the event with them," said Dr Oh.

He said the association also thanked the Consulate-General of People's Republic of China in Kuching, China Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and even Malaysian Embassy in Beijing, all of which really helped in making possible this event.

And also both the Federal and State Governments which have been very instrumental in helping the association in making a success of the event, he said, adding the State Government, under Datuk Seri Musa Aman's leadership, was sponsoring RM100,000 for this event.

Dr Oh said the association also has a hope that such cultural performances can be held on an annual basis, and this may include performances by Sabah cultural troupes in the republic.

Meanwhile, Hu who was on his first visit to Sabah said he was impressed with the State's beautiful environment and much fresher air.

"Sabah has a beautiful environment and the air is much fresher.

The Chinese community in Sabah is very friendly and has achieved a lot in their respective fieldsÉand they live harmoniously with the other ethnic groups in Sabah," he said, hoping they will have another opportunity to come here in future.

On the Chinese New Year celebration atmosphere here and in China, he said it looks similar to him.

On the Monday night's performance, he said it also featured one of the most famous male tenors who is currently number one in China.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai and Kota Kinabalu Hokkien Association Chairman Datuk Clement Yeh, who is also honorary president of the association, were among Chinese leaders in the State present at the welcoming dinner.