Sarawakians share hopes for a brighter 2023

Kapitan Tan Jit Sheng

KUCHING (Jan 1): With the dawn of the New Year, Sarawakians have shared their hopes for world peace and freedom from the Covid-19 pandemic in 2023.

Kuching Coffeeshop and Restaurant Owners Association education chief Kapitan Tan Yit Sheng has put good health on the top of his list.

He also hopes Sarawak will be free of natural disasters, diseases, and uncertainties.

“I hope 2023 is a better year than past few years when we experienced Covid-19. I hope we won’t experience Covid-19 anymore,” he said.

He also hoped the state government will continue to focus on education, including for adults.

This will ensure Sarawakians, regardless of their age, are able to acquire knowledge and be good citizens to bring Sarawak to another level, he said.

Oscar Choo

For Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Sarawak Chapter chairman Oscar Choo, recovery from Covid-19 is at the forefront so that the tourism industry can be rebuilt to pre-pandemic levels.

“We wish for constant recovery for the tourism industry, however not being complacent on the health of the general public. Although China has never been our main market in Sarawak, we hope that the other markets will not be affected by the global surge of Covid-19 infections,” he said.

He pointed out that the industry has only barely recovered and the expected years of recession would see the collapse of the industry should there be a surge of Covid-19 cases globally in 2023.

Kapitan Tan Gun Kee

Hui Sing community leader Kapitan Tan Kun Gee also wishes for a year free from any deadly virus infection, free from massive effects or damage from global climate change, and world peace.

He pointed out this is because war affects everyone in one way or another.

“My hope that globally, there’s peace and no massive destruction either through virus attack or climate damage so that we all can go on with our lives more peacefully in one way or another. Business can expand many folds too,” he said.

John Teo

Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) Sarawak chairman John Teo hopes the war between Russia and Ukraine would end in 2023, while tensions between China and the United States, China and Taiwan, as well as North and South Korea would be resolved without war.

He also hopes the Covid-19 pandemic can finally be over.

“For Sarawak side, we all hope that Sarawak government, under our Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, will lead Sarawak into a more prosperous and happy year.

“So far Sarawak is moving towards the right direction and we can see that majority of Sarawakian are happy with our Sarawak government,” he said.

Datuk Peter Minos

Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) chairman Datuk Peter Minos said he hopes for political peace and stability in 2023.

“People are tired and sick of political squabbles and quarrels, especially in the peninsula in the last few years. Malaysians sincerely and genuinely want political peace and stability.

“And no repeat of the last few years of political uncertainty and instability that adversely and badly affected economic and social life,” he said.

He also hopes the national economy will be fully restored and thrive again.

Minos pointed out political instability and the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021 had a very heavy toll on the Malaysian economy and the lives of the people.

The Bung Bratak Heritage Association chairman also hopes that 2023 will bring more tourists to the area to enjoy the beauty and nature it can offer.

He said if the association can get more funding, it will build an arts and crafts centre as well as cultural presentation centre there.

Dr Catherine Chen

Kuching Autistic Association president Dr Catherine Chen said she hopes the association can have more support from corporate organisations, government agencies, and individuals during its fundraisers this year.

She said this will enable the association to continue providing educational and vocational activities for children and adults with autism.

“We will have two major fundraisers in 2023. First is the Bunny Autism Run on April 30, at the Kuching South City Council (MBKS) grounds, and Fundraising Food Fair and Charity Sale on July 16 at the Association of Churches Sarawak.

“Every contribution goes a long way in making a difference to the lives of those with autism. We are grateful for the support received this (last) year,” she said.

Dr Chen also hopes that there will be more corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects to help the association create awareness of autism.

She added that enrolment for its programme will increase to 156 students in 2023, and hopes that the new students can adjust to the curriculum and benefit from it.

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