‘Discard racial lines to foster unity, harmony’


The annual general meeting in progress. Lau is at fourth left. On his right is Pemanca Datuk Wong Kie Yek. On his left is secretary Penghulu Kong Hian Khim.

SIBU: Sibu Division Chinese Community Leaders Association chairman Temenggong Vincent Lau suggested to his association yesterday to discard race issues in order to promote racial harmony in the community.

Speaking at the association’s annual general meeting (AGM) here, Lau said their organisation was formed a decade ago to cater to the community leaders’ needs.

He said time had changed and community leaders should view things in a wider perspective and be creative and innovative in discharging their responsibilities.

“We should remain open minded, and lead by example to promote racial harmony. I suggest we discard race in our association’s business by opening the organisation to members of all races.”

Lau said community leaders should work without racial barrier to bridge understanding among the people and with the government.

He said only working with an open heart could they be the people’s voice, adding that leaders from all communities should communicate efficiently and the association should provide that platform.

He said in working towards this goal, association members should not only serve people of their own race, but must also work with mutual respect.

Lau said he and his committee would work on this proposal and he hoped they could push this through soonest to make their association multi-racial.

He said there were 116 members in their association, and 76 of them turned up for yesterday’s meeting. On their commitment last year, he said it was fruitful.

“We look forward to another active year. Be prepared to serve the people, be the link between them and the government, and be at the best of your service.”

He said when they formed the association a decade ago, they had wanted to pool resources and strength towards greater unity for the community.

“We have not given the best in us. There is still room for improvement. We shall continue to work hard.”

In the meeting yesterday, the association resolved to appeal to the government to abolish Lanang Bridge toll.

It said the toll had exerted great pressure on the villagers from Selero, Paradom to Tanjung Kunyit. It said these were people who had to pay for the toll daily as they travelled to Sibu town.

One member cited a villager could spend up to RM30 per day on the toll.

“Because of the burden, families are moving out. There were more than 400 families in Tanjung Kunyit and Paradom alone.

“Now, there are less than 300 families. Villagers are moving out. They cannot cope up with the toll.”

The association felt lifting the bridge toll could bring rural development on par with urban development.

The association also resolved to meet the authorities for dialogues for improvement of the infrastructure facilities. Lau said they had achieved this last year, and they would continue doing it this year to help the people and the government trash out problems that affect the townsfolk.

He suggested inviting people in professional fields for each dialogue that could be held quarterly.

‘Chap Goh Meh’ luncheon followed after the meeting yesterday.