Federation to be a bridge

KUCHING: The Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations (SFCA) will continue to be the bridge between the Chinese community and the Sarawak government.

“SFCA’s aim is to focus on social issues and defend the rights of Sarawakians, particularly the Chinese community,” said president Datuk Richard Wee during a dinner held to install the association’s 2019-2022 main committee, women wing and youth wing, at Riverside Majestic Hotel here on Tuesday.

Wee emphasised on more activities such as dialogues and joint events with other races to create a bigger platform for all to further solidify and enhance harmony.

“SFCA will continue to play our role as the bridge between the community and our government. Maybe a platform for representatives of all communities can be formed to meet up with the chief minister on a regular basis.

“This platform will be able to relay feedback concerning the welfare of the people directly to the chief minister.

“We would welcome any advice from him so that we can better serve our community and our government,” he said at the event, which was attended by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Wee appealed to the state government for a suitable site to build SFCA’s headquarters while praising Abang Johari’s strong commitment and continuous support to Chinese independent schools, having increased financial assistance to RM8mil this year.

“You have also fulfilled your promise of allocating land to the Sarawak Private Chinese Secondary Schools Charity Trust last year with the intention that its development will generate revenue to cover the expenditure of our schools in future years. 

“Most important of all, it is the bold move by the Sarawak government in recognising the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) as an entry qualification into the state civil service, making Sarawak the first state to recognise the UEC officially in Malaysia. 

“These are all the concrete evidence of our Sarawak government’s support, commitment and assistance extended to Chinese education,” Wee mentioned.

On the concerns of the Chinese community with regard to their representation in the state civil service, Wee said the number of Chinese in the civil service was still small and “this is a long-standing phenomenon throughout the country, not just in Sarawak, and there are many factors contributing to this.”

“While efforts from the government can be further improved in this respect, we, the Chinese community, must of course shoulder our share of responsibility too.”

He said SFCA was willing to work with the government to conduct forums, dialogues, roadshows in schools, universities and community to encourage more participation.

On his appointment as SFCA president, Wee expressed his gratitude to all presidents and committee members of Federation of Chinese Associations of all eight divisions in Sarawak.

“I am deeply honoured. I deem it as a responsibility entrusted upon me to continue the visions and objectives set by past president Datuk Hii Teck Yun, and strive harder to consolidate support and further improve
and elevate the welfare of our community.”