The acceptance of 1Malaysia by all Malaysians, irrespective of their race can make the country even more respectful and honoured.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who launched the 26th National Chinese Cultural Festival at town square here in the presence of a 40,000 strong and appreciative crowd said as a result ties between Malaysia and other countries can be enhanced to boost economic ties.

Also present were Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, Federation of Chinese Association Malaysia president Tan Sri Lim Gait Tong, his Sarawak counterpart Datuk Lau Cheng Kiong and members of the federal and state cabinet.

Najib said because of 1Malaysia, China in particular had become very close to Malaysia.

“Of course we have historical ties dating back to 500 years, with the arrival of Admiral Cheng Ho to Malaysia. Many Chinese too have made Malaysia their home and through their hard work and entrepreneurship have and are contributing tremendously in the country’s success,” he said.

Najib said he was made to understand that China were preparing for a huge investment in Malaysia.

“I will announce this very significant development from time to time,” said Najib adding that the country’s economy was in good shape.

“That is why the Barisan Nasional government will not play with politics. We will not tell or promise the people what we cannot deliver. We rather the people judge us by our actions.”

Meanwhile, who upon arrival at the airport went straight to meet the people at a ‘Pasar Malam’ here, said he was very impressed with what he had seen and observed there.

“1Malaysia has already made its presence felt in Sibu. At the ‘Pasar Malam’ I saw 174 Chinese and Malay traders going about their business together at one place. This cultural interaction is indicative of 1Malaysia, a concept based on acceptance rather than tolerance,” he said.

He added that the federal government had already approved RM150 million for the expansion of the Sibu Airport and will also provide funds for flood mitigation and housing programmes.

Meanwhile, Taib Mahmud praised and thanked Najib for making his fourth visit to Sarawak within a month.

“We are very grateful for the attention given to Sarawak which makes us feel much closer to the rest of Malaysia. When we have goodwill everywhere, it can help to speed up the acceptance of the 1Malaysia concept,” he said.

Echoing Taib Mahmud’s appraisal of Najib and the 1Malaysia concept, Lim said since taking over as the new Prime Minister, Najib had introduced constructive steps and efforts to turn around the country’s economy and improve the standard of education.

“These not only fulfill the demands of globalization but has also attracted investors to the country. We believe the people will be able to harvest the benefits in the coming years,” he said.

–BERNAMA