THE worst is over.
Malaysia’s Finance Deputy Minister II Steven Sim said he believed that the worst is over for Malaysians despite several economists and financial analysts cautioning that there could be a recession this year.
“I read and follow up on the current developments in the world daily. There are news reports about minor recessions happening here and there this year.
“However, I am confident to say that the worst is over for us, Malaysians. Why do I say so?
“After two to three years of political contention, finally, Malaysia has a stable and united unity government.
“This is very important because, without stability, we are not able to proceed to have economic development or harmony in the society.
“If we look at the economic index over the past two months (since the establishment of the unity government), there are indicators which show an upward trend of investors in the Malaysia market and the economy.
“China’s border reopening is also another factor which I believe can benefit Malaysia,” Sim said in his speech during the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC) Chinese New Year open house at Han Chiang High School today.
He added that the PCCC plays an important role in stimulating economy and trade activities, as well as contributing to the economy of Penang and the country.
Sim also spoke about the Malaysia Madani concept which was introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“The Malaysia Madani concept focuses on unity among Malaysians and economic prosperity.
“The unity government has outlined three immediate goals, which are, to improve the livelihood of Malaysians, revitalise the country’s economy, and improve the efficiency of the Government,” he said.
Speaking about the Budget 2023 which would be re-tabled in Parliament on Feb 24, Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng, who is the former Finance Minister, said he believed that the Prime Minister understands the current economic development of the country.
“The current economic development is still not strong, and I trust that there will be an injection of additional funds to ensure economic growth and to elevate the people’s livelihood,” he said,” Guan Eng said.
PCCC president Datuk Seri Hong Yeam Wah said PCCC was established in 1903 and has a history of 120 years.
“It has made indelible contributions to the country and the Chinese community in the past, upholding the original intention of serving the community, fostering better unity amongst the society, and working together for business development.
“PCCC also assumes the responsibility of inheriting traditional Chinese culture, and promoting cooperation in various fields,” he said.
Hong added that PCCC held the Chinese New Year open house once again after a two-year hiatus.
“It is not only to celebrate the festive season but also to provide a platform for friendly exchange.
“I believe that by bringing together members from more than 51 business associations, the PCCC will be able to stimulate regional economic and trade activities more effectively and contribute to the economy of Penang and the country,” he said.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said PCCC has played its role over the years, representing the business community, to voice out to the Federal Government to provide allocations for the implementation of infrastructure projects in Penang.
“Penang can play a better role in the economic and industrial development of the country when these infrastructure projects are implemented and completed.
“We hope that under our new Prime Minister, in the spirit of the unity government, the Federal Government will appreciate Penang’s contribution to Malaysia.
“We hope that allocations for our projects will be approved for us to implement them in Penang,” Chow said.
He also congratulated PCCC for successfully organising the open house.
Besides the powerful 24 Chinese Drum performance by the students of Han Chiang High School, the guests were entertained by singing and lion dance performances.
The VIPs took part in the yee sang tossing ceremony on stage.
PCCC also donated to several charity organisations, with Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society Malaysia (Penang) receiving RM100,000 for its dialysis centre in Butterworth. Others include Penang Pure Lotus Hospice of Compassion (RM50,000) and Carlatan Dialysis Centre (RM50,000).
Among those present at the open house were Deputy Minister of Education Lim Hui Ying, Chinese consul-general in Penang Zhou Youbin, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, PCCC life honorary president Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping, and PCCC executive adviser Datuk Seri Choot Ewe Seng.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Siti Nuratikah Rahmat
Video by Alissala Thian