All M'sians must involve in fostering close relations with China: Tee Keat

All M'sians must involve in fostering close relations with China: Tee Keat

Posted on 12 August 2018 - 03:57pm
Last updated on 12 August 2018 - 04:41pm
Ian McIntyre

Tan Sri Ong Tee Keat.

GEORGE TOWN: Fostering of close relations between mainland China and Malaysia should not be confined to just Malaysians of Chinese descent but all Malaysians irrespective of race said Tan Sri Ong Tee Keat.

"Such measures of involving all Malaysians must be cultivated in the areas of the economy, culture, heritage and healthcare," said Ong, who is chairman of the Malaysia-China Silk Road Business Chamber.

It may be happening slowly on a government-to-government level, but Ong spoke of a need for more expansionary people-to-people networking ties so the myths and fear factors about China can be dealt with.

"Malaysians of all races must embrace the quest to know what mainland China is all about," he said.

There is this perception that China may gobble up the entire economic framework here due to its sheer size and financial clout, but Ong reassured Malaysians that their relations are always about equal footing and mutual benefits.

"Although there may be initial barriers of language and culture, this can be overcome in due time as mainland China wants to expand her horizons worldwide," Ong said, adding China welcomes meeting all Malaysians.

"We shouldn't inhibit ourselves when it comes to China. We should understand that China has grown to become an economic power, and hence like it or not, the world has to foster linkages with them," Ong said.

Ong said that (China) Belt Road Initiative should be tapped and not feared just because there is a lack of cohesive communication channels.
"It is a work in progress to ensure that China can also meet our expectations on business interests including our mutual desire for greater connectivity via infrastructure and multimedia," he said.
"In my dealings with China's provisional and municipality officers, there are barriers and shortcomings as they too have to grasp their elevated role in the world due to their rise as an economic power, but they are adjusting fast."

Ong said it was important that his chamber acts on the misconception, saying external trade with any country has its fair share of bureaucracies.

It is inevitable that Malaysia will end up enjoying close relations with China due to the historical ties and the geographic location.

China realises that Malaysia is the gateway to the Asean region where 250 million people reside and they are consumers to China's products and services.

But what's more special about Malaysia, is that the country is also a beacon in the Islamic world through the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), and also one of the pioneers in advocating regionalism, Ong said.

"Entrepreneurs in China understand it, and it is now up to our Malaysian entrepreneurs to also tap this potential". - theSun