PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Chinese community in Malaysia played an important role not only in the economic and business development of the country, but also in the struggle of achieving independence, said Prime Minister Najib Razak.
"I'm sure everyone remembers independence leaders such as Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Tun H.S Lee and Yap Ah Loy who built and developed Kuala Lumpur," Datuk Seri Najib said in a blogpost on Tuesday (Feb 20).
In his blogpost celebrating the Chinese New Year, Mr Najib wrote that the festivities are a reminder that Malaysia is a unique melting pot with each race playing an important role in the nation's development.
He added that in terms of administration, the government has ensured inclusive policies that would fulfil the needs of every citizen regardless of race and religion.
"In order to ensure that the policies drafted meet the needs of the Chinese community, the government actively holds discussions with groups and associations such as the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia and Huazong," he said. Huazong refers to The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia.
To illustrate, Mr Najib listed the announcement for the establishment of 10 new Chinese vernacular schools and the annual allocation of RM50 million (S$17 million) for the improvement of Chinese schools.
He said that under Budget 2018, Chinese small and medium industries (SME) traders were given special access to the RM50 million allocation through Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia Berhad while Chinese hawkers have can apply for a micro-credit loan involving an allocation of RM30 million through the 1Malaysia Hawkers and Petty Traders Foundation.
The fate of the Kampung Baru Chinese community is also not marginalised, Mr Najib said of the RM75 million allocation to restore and development the town.
"Overall, I believe the needs of the Chinese community in Malaysia will continue to be addressed by the government and hopefully with the beginning of the new year, the Chinese community will prosper in line with the nation's prosperity," Mr Najib said.