Goh hopes the ‘Lucky Tiger’ will bring stability and prosperity for Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Huazong President, Tan Sri T.C Goh has hoped that the ushering in of the ‘Lucky Tiger’ would bring greater stability and prosperity for the country, this year.


He said, in an annual poll last year, Malaysians selection of the Chinese character “盼” (pàn) which means “to hope for” as the word of the year fully reflected Malaysians’ ardent hope for things to improve, in all aspects, this year.

“This year, after sending off the hardworking and stoic ox, we hope with the ushering in of the tiger which embodies the characteristics of strength and courage, would dispel all the sadness and misfortunes which we experienced last year, and bring us a promising year,” he said this in his 2022 Chinese New Year message issued today.

He acknowledged that in the past two years, despite the fact that the entire world was badly devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic, not only that the medical experts and epidemiologists throughout the world did not give up hope, they even united to fight against the pandemic.

“Countries throughout the world, Malaysia included, have been racing against time to produce vaccines to fight the pandemic. Since rolling out the national vaccination programme a few months ago, Malaysia has now gone for the third booster shot, and will soon be allowing children under the age of 11 to get vaccinated.

“But, with the virus continuing to mutate and new variants keep emerging, we will continue to come under the threat of the pandemic, and we have no choice but to co-exist with the virus,” he said.

He went on to note that as the new year begins, the most sensational events in the world are the Beijing Winter Olympics which will be held in Beijing from 4 to 20 February, and the Winter Paralympics which will begin on 4 March and to end on 13 March. Despite the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics initiated by the US government and supported by some European Union (EU) nations, many countries in the world, US and Malaysia included, will be sending their paralympic athletes to compete in the game which is themed “Together for a shared future”.

He was optimistic that the said events will be smoothly and successfully held and completed.

Goh who is also President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) further noted that last year, besides fighting the Covid-19, Malaysia also officially joined the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) initiative led by China, which will officially come into force on 18 March this year. This effectively made Malaysia the 12th nation to participate in the largest free trade region in the world covering 15 nations with a total population of 2.2 billion or one-third of the total world population.

“It is foreseeable that this new “global economic circle” would be the catalyst for economic recovery and development for the participating nations, Malaysia included,” he said.

As for Malaysia, this year will see the implementation of the 12th Malaysia Plan after it was delayed for one year due to the pandemic; it is also the year for the implementation of the 2022 Budget, the biggest national budget that was tabled and passed in the Parliament last year, aimed chiefly to stimulate economic recovery.

Goh also opined that the government should continue to gather more feedback from the ground, in order to further improve its governance and its finance, and to introduce policies which are friendly to the people and businesses.

“This year is also the first lunar new year for the Parikatan Nasional led federal government and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob since he was appointed the 9th prime minister of Malaysia,” he noted.

He continued that although Ismail Sabri comfortably secured Melaka and Sarawak during their state elections last year, the real test and biggest challenge for him will nonetheless come after the Chinese New Year celebrations when Johor hold its state election, which is expected to be fiercely contested by political parties from both sides of the divide.

“But a vast majority of Malaysians are obviously frustrated and disappointed that, despite a persisting pandemic and the fact that many are still feeling the pinch of its devastating economic impact, our politicians seemed to be more keen to fight for their political interest, even more intensively. It looks like the Year of the Tiger is inevitably going to be a tumultuous year for Malaysia, politically-speaking!” he said.

He reckoned that a vast majority of Malaysians are hoping that politicians from both sides of the divide could exercise greater self-restraint, set aside power struggles, and to join hands to strive for political stability, to focus on fighting the pandemic, to stimulate economic recovery and to improve the people’s well-being.

“We also hope that the Chinese community in the country, which constitutes only 23% of the total population, could strive to better unite itself, and at the same time to join forces with fellow Malaysians of various races to better contribute to our country in the true spirit of the “Malaysian Family”.

“Let’s hope the Year of the Tiger will be a better year for all of us!” he concluded.

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