'China virus outbreak aid isn't just about money'
Published on: Friday, February 14, 2020
By: Ricardo Unto
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KOTA KINABALU: The special fund to help China deal with Covid-19 outbreak as announced recently by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal should be viewed beyond monetary assistance, said Federation of Chinese Associations of Sabah (FCAS).

Welcoming the effort, FCAS President Tan Sri TC Goh noted that some quarters had questioned the initiative.

“It is not about the money, but instead our sincere love, concern and care for them…our friends in China are fighting really hard against the virus,” he said after a contribution hand-over ceremony from SME Association of Sabah to the fund, here, Thursday.

“This is not only a China problem, but also the world as you can see today, due to Covid-19, the economy is affected.

“We hope that with a united support from all quarters, China can overcome this as soon as possible so that the world can enjoy economic rebound soon.”

Goh stressed that the amount of money is not an issue as “China has everything.”

“But we want to show and send our love as well as our concern to China to show that when they are in trouble, we are also with them and they are not working alone. 

“And when the situation has returned to normal, please do come back here to enjoy their holidays,” he said.

He added one of the main business sector in Sabah is tourism.

“The contribution to the special fund is a token of appreciation from us and any amount will do.

“Every business starts from friendship and when your friend is in trouble, you must offer your help.”

To this end, he said, FCAS has agreed to jointly-organise a charity dinner together with the State Government to raise the special fund.

“So far, the respond for the dinner and the fund has been good and we are confident that we can achieve the initial target of RM1 million set by the Chief Minister,” he said.

Meanwhile, Goh said the Covid-19 outbreak had given a very good reference and lesson to all quarters.

“After the change of government, our Chief Minister had kept on urging the tourism industry to diversify.

“And now is the right time to diversify and create more markets – we cannot depend on a single market.”

He said, Sabah is lucky as it still receives tourist arrivals from South Korea and Japan. 

“However, these tourists are more on the four to five-star hotels.

“China tourists are more of a free and easy types, so when they are no longer here, the other hotels, souvenir shops and normal restaurants are affected,” he said.

As such, he hoped the government will provide assistance to the local businesses as well.

“I am expecting the hard time will last for at least six months.” The contribution from SME Association of Sabah was handed over by its President Foo Ngee Kee.


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