HONG KONG - The Malaysian government will continue to express its appreciation to the country’s Chinese community for having contributed to the national economy since independence, said the Deputy Prime Minister.
“Malaysian Chinese have participated in all areas of life in Malaysia and have excelled in all activities,” said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in his keynote address during the patron’s dinner and award presentation ceremony at the Ninth World Chinese Economic Summit (WCES) here last night.
On China’s Belt and Road initiative, he said it could be a significant source of funding for Asean countries that needed to develop infrastructure.
“According to an Asian Development Bank report, South-East Asian states will need about US$2.76tril (RM11.6tril) – which equals to 5% of their GDP – for infrastructure investment between 2016 and 2030.
“Access to Chinese investments through the Belt and Road is therefore valued by these countries, especially when funding through private investors and international financial institutions remains limited,” he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said improved infrastructure, including highways, airports, seaports and rail, would facilitate intra-Asean trade and tourism and help Asean actualise its master plan on connectivity.
At the event, Indonesian vice-president Jusuf Kalla was named the recipient of the WCES Special Benevolent Award.
Former Hong Kong chief executive C. Y. Leung, who is now the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference vice chairman, led the list of 20 World Chinese Lifetime Achievement Awards recipients for his leadership in government and public service.
LBS Bina Group Bhd head Tan Sri Lim Hock San received the Special Distinguished Award for Promotion of China-Asean Relations.
Other recipients included Nirvana Asia Ltd founder and executive chairman Tan Sri David Kong Hon Kong (Leadership in Bereave-ment Care Industry), BGMC International Ltd founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Barry Goh Ming Choon (Infrastructure & Education), Hunza Properties Bhd executive chairman Datuk Seri Khor Teng Tong (Property Develop-ment and Shopping Complex) and Bonia International Holdings Pte Ltd (Singapore) group executive chairman Chiang Sang Sem (Luxury Leatherwear, Footwear and Apparel Industry).
Also present at the ceremony were Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah and WCES patron Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew.