KUALA LUMPUR - The government will continue paying attention and tending to the needs of the Chinese community to ensure that they will prosper together with the country, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The prime minister said the Chinese community had not only played important roles in terms of economic and business development, but had also contributed to the country's struggle to obtain independence.
"I am sure everyone remembers our Independence heroes such as Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun H.S Lee or even Yap Ah Loy who had built and developed Kuala Lumpur,"he said on his latest blog post on najibrazak.com tonight.
In terms of administration, Najib said the government had always ensured that the policies that were enacted were inclusive of the needs of every citizen, regardless of their race.
"Ever since I took over the administration, individual income tax has been greatly reduced, and this has certainly benefited many professionals among the Chinese,"he said, citing the individual income tax rate which was reduced by two per cent in Budget 2018.
"Likewise, the reduction in tax rates for taxable income of up to the first RM500,000 from 19 per cent to 18 per cent was implemented in Budget 2017 for the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)."
"In addition, I believe that the SMEs in Malaysia will receive huge economic benefits and opportunities with the setting up of the Digital Free Trade Zone,"he said.
On the issue of national-type Chinese school (SJKC), one which was close to the hearts of the Chinese community, the prime minister said the government would continue giving its aid and assistance.
"Last year, I announced the establishment of 10 new SJKCs, as well as an annual allocation of RM50 million for upgrading works,"he said.
Najib said as in previous years, SME entrepreneurs from the Chinese community had also been given special access to an RM50 million allocation announced under Budget 2018 through KOJADI (Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia Berhad), besides an allocation of RM30 million for the 1Malaysia Hawkers and Petty Traders Foundation to provide loans to hawkers from the Chinese community.
The fate of New Chinese Village residents had also not been overlooked, as the government had provided an allocation of RM75 million to improve the well-being of the population and the development of facilities such as halls and playgrounds, he said.
In order to ensure that policies drafted met the needs of the Chinese community, Najib said the government had actively engaged in discussions with groups and associations such as the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia and Hua Zong.
This, he said, was in line with the open approach adopted by the Barisan Nasional government, unlike the practice in some states which chose to marginalise the voices of Chinese associations, causing dissatisfaction among the community.
Referring to his meetings with the Chinese community in Kuala Lumpur and in Langkawi last week, Najib said he could feel the people were more confident about the country's future.
"The Chinese New Year, which is celebrated together by all Malaysians, reminds us that Malaysia is a unique country with various mould, and each community plays its role in developing the country,"he said.