KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Razak paid tribute to the Chinese Hokkien community in Malaysia, saying that they have contributed remarkably to the country’s economic development.
He attributed the success of the Hokkien people in business to their work ethics, hard work and entrepreneurship.
“The Chinese Hokkien community represents the vast majority of successful entrepreneurs in Malaysia. About 80% of the top 10 successful entrepreneurs in the country are Hokkien.
“I hope you will continue to work hard to be as entrepreneurial and innovative as possible and help to bring Malaysia to a higher level of growth,” he said in his speech at a dinner in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the Federation Of Hokkien Associations Malaysia (FHAM) last night.
Najib said with Malaysia aspiring to be one of the leading economies in the world, it was important for it to be more innovative and creative in developing its economies.
“We cannot depend on natural resources as much as we used to. Even oil as a resource may not be as valuable as it used to be.
“Whatever we have, we must make the best use (of it), particularly the skills of our people, intellectual capital and entrepreneurial drive to achieve a high rate of growth,” he said.
Najib reiterated the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s promise to build more Chinese vernacular schools in the country in the believe that the Chinese schools can contribute to the country’s development by educating and equipping the young people with the skills and values that are important to mould them into responsible citizens.
This, he said, was also in line with the BN government’s policy of moderation and inclusiveness and a government that could represent the aspirations of all communities in the country.
“This is very clear of how fair and just the current BN government is. I also believe that Malaysia will benefit from our cultural diversity.
“We must not see this (diversity) as a problem that will hinder national unity, but it is a source of strength for the country if it is appreciated and harnessed the right way,” he said.
Also present were FHAM president Khoo Chai Kaa and China’s ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Huang Huikang.