TENOM: Rural Development Minister Datuk Radin Malleh said the existing unity and harmony among the various races that has stood for decades should be maintained so that development of the state and the people can be maintained.
He said the many different races in the state must wisely evaluate and reject the extremists who mix politics, religion and culture to further their personal and ideological interest.
“The government will not hesitate to take stern action against any individuals or group of extremists who make seditious remarks and conduct activities that could cause disunity, social disharmony and public disorder among the various races in the state,” he said when opening the Dragon, Unicorn and Lion Dance Festival at Datuk Seri Panglima Antanom hall here on Saturday.
Radin said with political stability and unity, the government is able to focus its efforts on implementing various development programs in the state.
Although the Barisan Nasional (BN) government is now practising austerity measures, it will continue to implement programs to advance the socio-economic transformation of the country and the prosperity of people.
In this regard, he said the government had always welcomed participation and feedback, especially from the Chinese community, on the government services.
“The public, especially the Chinese community, can forward all their feedback and complaints either by letter, in person or via the social media to the district offices, district councils and other government agencies.
“All the feedback and complaints will become inputs for the government to improve the quality of government services, while ensuring that development programs initiated by the government are on right track and achieving their goals,” he said.
Radin, who is also the assemblyman for Melalap, said as one of the major races in the state, especially in Tenom, support and involvement of Chinese society is crucially important to the success of the government agenda and development programs, particularly the Government Transformation Programme, New Economic Policy and Sabah Development Corridor.
He said the skills, knowledge and experience of the Chinese community in the professional, business and other sectors of the economy have helped to boost economic growth and prosperity of this country. Partnerships and collaborations between Bumiputera community and Chinese have also strengthened unity and stability of this country, especially in Sabah.
According to him, the government appreciates the roles and contributions of the Chinese community in generating the socio-economic development of the state.
He said the appointment of the Chinese in local authority services such as the Tenom District Council, Urban Community Committee (JKDB) and state and federal government departments and agencies also proved the recognition of the role and contribution of the community in the development of the country.
Radin hoped that the majority of Chinese people who have business premises in the district, will continue working together to develop the district’s economic potential and with the local authorities to maintain the beauty and cleanliness of the environment in the town.
“The practice of power sharing by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government has provided an opportunity for all people, including the Chinese community, to engage in a variety of socio-economic development programs and political activities,” he said.
He hoped the Chinese community will be able to make an intelligent assessment on the commitment and concern of the government to develop the state.
On the event, Radin said the government had always supported community activities and cultural events of the Chinese community and other communities because it will foster closer relationship among the people of various races in Sabah, especially in Tenom district.
“I understand from the organizing committee of this festival that there are 120 participating Dragon, Unicorn and Lion Dance troupes of international standards from Tenom and Kota Kinabalu. The many participants in this festival proves that people of different races, including the Chinese, are still free to practise their customs, culture and beliefs as enshrined in the Constitution.
“In fact, the Barisan Nasional government always gives funds and other assistances to institutions of culture and education of the Chinese community in Sabah every year,” Radin said.