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Oleh Chris Maskilone

Shafie, his wife and all the VIPs cutting the Moon Cake to mark the launch of the 2018 Gaya Street Mid-Autumn Lantern Moon Cake Festival here. SNT Pix/Chris Maskilone

KOTA KINABALU: The Chinese community in Sabah have been urged to participate in the development of the state because Sabah belongs to them as well.

“Sabah belongs to the Chinese too so please, participate in the development of Sabah,” said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

According to him, the new State government led by his Parti Warisan Sabah prioritised the interests of all the communities in Sabah.

One of the teams in the schools category showing off their lanterns in the procession at Gaya Street here. SNT Pix/Chris Maskilone

“Under the new government we are emphasising on all the cultural celebrations of the people of Sabah. That is why I have asked Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai (with assistance from USCCA KK) to organise this Mooncake Festival.

“I want it because it is very significant. I have told Mayor that I will be around,” he said officiating at the Mid-Autumm Moon Cake Festival at Lintasan Deasoka in Gaya Street here today.

Shafie witnessing the presentation of replica cheque for RM20,000 from the Chinese Consul General in Kota Kinabalu, Liang Caide to USCCA KK President, Datuk Susan Wong. SNT Pix/Chris Maskilone

Shafie said the Moon Cake Festival was one of the events that the State government would enhanced in the bid to woo more tourists to come.

He had also requested that the City Hall open up a food court in Gaya Street once a week to generate ambience for visitors at the State Capital central business district.

He said he had asked Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Christina Liew to look for ways to get more tourists to come here.

USCCA KK President Datuk Susan Wong receiving the replica cheque of RM50,000 State government contribution from Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal. SNT Pix/Chris Maskilone

At the same time, Shafie said as the chairman of the State Security Council he assured that ensuring security in the State is a top priority.

“I have spoken to the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Home Ministry through Deputy Home Minister (Datuk Azis Jamman) to beef up security in Sabah,” he said.

Shafie and wife in a group photo with all the guests at the 2018 Gaya Street Mid-Autumn Lantern Moon Cake Festival. SNT Pix/Chris Maskilone

Meanwhile, Shafie also took the opportunity to express gratitude to the people of Sabah for supporting the new state government.

He said this State government will reciprocate by providing the needs of the people and try to resolve all the problems faced by them.

Shafie reiterated that the State government under his leadership wants to ensure positive Sabah’s economic growth.

He said for starters several steps have been taken such as the temporary ban on timber exports, getting a major motor industry player, Tan Chong Motors to set up an assembly plant here and implementation of measures so that Sabah and its people can reap benefit from the oil and gas industry.

“I have also asked all the ministers to be busy with work for the people and don’t be busy with corruptions,” he said.

According to him, there was no reason for Sabah not being able to progress because “we have all the necessary things that are needed to do so.”

Shafie thanked the various elected representatives namely Kota Kinabalu MP, Chan Foong Hin, Luyang Assemblyman Tan Lee Fatt, Likas Assemblyman Ginger Phoong, Mayor and City Hall as well as the United Sabah Chinese Community Association (USCCA) Kota Kinabalu under Datuk Susan Wong for the job well done in organising the Moon Cake Festival.

He concurred with Christina who spoke earlier that the State Government will not hesitate to work together and support any NGO so long as it is for the good and betterment of Sabah and the people.

Earlier, Shafie gave special mention to Susan Sheward, the founder of the Orangutan Appeal UK who had donated RM1 million towards the protection of the Orangutan in Sabah, two days ago.

Datuk Susan Wong later received the replica cheque of RM50,000 contributions from the State Government represented by Shafie and RM20,000 from the China Consul-General in Kota Kinabalu, Liang Caide.

Later, Shafie and his wife Datin Seri Shuryani Shuaib as well as the rest of the invited guests witnessed the lanterns procession by schools and associations.-SabahNewsToday