Goh (middle) accompanied by President of Melaka Chinese Assembly Hall, Piong Yew Peng (2nd right), Datuk Susan Wong (2nd left), who is the organising chairman of the 38th National Chinese Cultural Festival, her deputy Kapitan Fung Chun Fatt (left), and Datuk Dr Hoo Ch’ng Pow, organising chairman of the torch lighting ceremony, during the event.
MALACCA: Politicians in the country should not be clamouring for a “single race declaration” just to achieve their political agendas, said the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) President Tan Sri T C Goh.
He opined that under the Malaysia Madani concept advocated by the Unity Government, it is even more pertinent that Malaysia should adopt a “Malaysian declaration” i.e. a declaration for all Malaysians, and not just any particular race in the country.
“Malaysia is a multiracial country with diverse cultures and faiths. Such a unique feature had existed since our nation achieved its independence and, it is also the foundation of our nation building which all Malaysians must continue to preserve and safeguard!” he stressed.
Goh was speaking at the torch lighting ceremony for the 38th National Chinese Cultural Festival 2023, at Bukit Cina here, today. Also in attendance were Goh’s wife, Puan Sri Joanne Ho, Huazong Vice Presidents Tan Sri Tan Khoon Hai, Dato’ Lam Kuang Yau and Wong Keng Tong, its Secretary-General Datuk Dr Wong Aik Loung and his Deputy Yong Yew Wei, Vice Treasurer Dato’ Ng Chin Heng, Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong, Ayer Keroh Assemblyman Kerk Chee Yee, Chinese community leaders of Melaka and Huazong women and youth leaders, among others.
Goh, who is also President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS), was obviously concerned with the selfish acts of certain politicians in the country who keep advocating a parochial “single race declaration”, aimed chiefly to achieve their selfish political agendas. He hoped these politicians would immediately stop fanning race and religious sentiments, as such actions would essentially encourage and radicalize racism in the country, which completely contradicts Malaysia’s multiracial structure.
“While we welcome a diverse political development in our democracy, we nonetheless opine that our politicians should not keep playing up racial sentiment and extremism as it would eventually pawn our national interests!” he contended.
He said: “Under a multi racial and multi culture system, we must strive to ensure that our ‘Malaysian culture’ is an open and inclusive one, which really reflects our multiracial and multicultural setup.
“Malaysian culture essentially belongs to all races in the country. Hence, it should not be clashing with each other.”
He cited for example, while the Chinese community continue to preserve and safeguard their Chinese education, culture and traditions, they also assimilated well into the cultures of other races, which thus give birth to our unique ‘Malaysian culture’ which all Malaysians could recognise with.
Touching on the 38th National Chinese Cultural Festival, Goh said it was aimed chiefly to preserve the fine essence of Chinese culture.
Beside that, he said the organiser also took the initiative to inject into it the cultural elements of other Malaysian races, in line with the commitment of promoting our unique Malaysian culture.
He also noted that the previous Malaysian Cultural Festival was hosted by the Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall while this year’s event will be hosted by FCAS.
He thus urged the Chinese community in the country, especially all the state Chinese assembly halls, to continue to give their full support by attending the festival in Sabah.