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Speech by Consul General Liang Caide At the Charity Dinner of Sabah State Government
2020-02-20

(February 18th, 7 PM, Port View Palace Hall, Wisma Hakka)

Honorable Chief Minister of Sabah YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie bin Haji Apdal,

Honorable Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah CUM Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment YB Datuk Christina Liew,

President of The Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Goh Tian Chuan,

Members of Parliament and State Legislative Assemblymen, Government officials of all levels,

Leaders and representatives of various Chinese Communities, Associations and Chambers of Commerce,

People of Sabah from all circles,

Tan Sri-Tan Sri, Puan Sri-Puan Sri, Datuk-Datuk, Datin-Datin,

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests:

Good evening!

    An ancient Chinese quote says, “adversity reveals virtue and a true friend”. This evening we are here for a common goal.

    At this moment, on the land of China thousands of kilometers away, the 1.4 billion Chinese people are united as one and engaged in this war without smoke against the epidemic. From President Xi Jinping, who personally directs the deployment of the epidemic prevention and control work to the vast number of medical staff who are fighting at the front line; from the expert fellow Zhong Nanshan, white-haired leader who fought against SARS to young students who have studied at home, each and every Chinese citizen is contributing their effort in their own way.

    And here, in this venue of Wisma Hakka in Sabah, I can deeply feel the sincere love and selfless care of the people of Sabah to the people of China. The friendship between China and Sabah is brightened up by your warmth and determination at this special moment. Chief Minister YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie personally initiated this grand charity dinner “We Care We Love” and in just a few days, more than 1.5 million of funds were raised. Initiating a fundraising event in the name of the government to support China's fight against the epidemic, this is the first in the world. The actions of the Sabah government are tremendous support for the Chinese people who are struggling to fight the epidemic. We are not alone in facing the outbreak, and feel that the Government and people of Sabah stand with us.

    The Chinese nation is grateful and will always remember your precious support. Here, on behalf of the Government and people of China, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Sabah State government and people from all walks of life in reaching out without hesitation and giving your care and love to China. In particular, I would like to thank Chief Minister YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie for personally initiating this fund-raising event. Thanks to Deputy Chief Minister CUM Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment YB Datuk Christina Liew for planning the event tonight, and thanks to the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah and the 10 co-organizers who meticulously organized the event and raised funds, thank the various political parties and Members of Parliament in Sabah, the Chinese communities, associations, business enterprises and the vast public in Sabah for their generous donations!

    Facing this sudden outbreak, the Chinese government resolutely takes the most comprehensive, strictest and most thorough measures with strong determination. On the first day of the Lunar Chinese New Year, China’s President Xi Jinping personally directed and deployed the order to declare war on the epidemic. Researchers worked tirelessly, and successfully isolated virus strains and developed detection reagents in less than 7 days. All medical staff shown high level of professionalism, and fight day and night on the front line, saving the lives of every patient at the risk of being infected.

    Strict and thorough prevention and control measures are showing results. As of today, the number of newly diagnosed and suspected cases outside Hubei has fallen for two consecutive weeks, and the outbreaks in Hubei and Wuhan are being effectively controlled. The number of confirmed cases currently being treated is only 92 in the country yesterday, and the number of patients who have been cured and discharged is increasing rapidly every day. As of today, nearly 13000 people have been cured, and yesterday 1700 people were discharged from the hospital. The national mortality rate is controlled at 2%, except for Hubei, which is only 0.55%. From this fact and data show that the vast majority of patients with COVID-19 are curable. From an international perspective, the number of confirmed cases outside China is less than 1% of the total number of cases, and there are only 2 death cases. A total of 22 confirmed cases were reported in Malaysia, of which 9 have been discharged. We have effectively prevented the spread of the epidemic globally and made tremendous efforts for global public health security with price and sacrifice paid.

    At the same time, China is not fighting alone. The international community has given us valuable spiritual support and material assistance. The leaders of more than 160 countries and international organizations have sent letters or called China to express their firm support for China. Recently, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir also talked with President Xi Jinping on the phone. Both sides agreed to further strengthen cooperation in the prevention and control of epidemic in an open and transparent manner and jointly defeat the disease. Many countries, including Malaysia, have provided substantial selfless assistance to China. People from all over the world have also spoke out and cheering for Wuhan and China.

    During this period, Consulate General also received countless caring messages and blessings from all walks of life in Sabah expressing support for China in different forms. There are funds and medical materials donated by various communities and public, warmly concerns from of government officials at all levels, letters of sympathy written by school teachers and students, cheering for China from all walks of life.... The charity dinner tonight has pushed the support of the people of Sabah to China to its highest point. Here, I would also like to extend my earnest appreciation to all people in Sabah who care and support China's fight against the epidemic!

    We firmly believe that with the strong determination, actions of the Chinese government and the full support of the international community, we will certainly be able to win the battle against epidemic.

    The epidemic not only brought challenges to China's economic and social development, but also severely impacted the tourism industry in Sabah. Many tourism operators have experienced the severe winter of the industry and faced difficulties in their livelihoods, but they have no complaints, no blame, and they are still enthusiastic to cheer for China and Wuhan. There will be rainbow after the storm. Today, the peoples of China and Sabah support and help each other in a time of difficulty. After the darkness of epidemic disappears, China-Sabah friendship will further sublimate, Sabah will definitely expect more Chinese tourists, exchanges and cooperation in various fields between China and Sabah will be closer ushering a better tomorrow.

    Wishing a long-lasting China-Sabah friendship!

    Wishing you all good health and prosperity!

    Thank you!

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