Symposium focuses on Chinese culture

Dr Sim (centre) officiating at the symposium together with Wee (seventh right), Wong (sixth right) and Ko (fourth left).

KUCHING: Culture is the root that holds Sarawakian Chinese together and we must remain united under one roof, said Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian here yesterday.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of The Chinese Cultural Symposium at Sarawak Club, he said that Sarawak is grateful to the China government for its willingness to foster bilateral relationship.

“We are thankful, especially for giving us the opportunity to be part of the One Belt One Road initiative implemented by China,” he said, adding that we need to continue this relationship and expand it to other industries.

Dr Sim was representing Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas at the symposium organised by The Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions in conjunction with the 7th Sarawak Cultural Symposium.

Also present were its president Dato Richard Wee, vice presidents Wong Tiong Hook and Pemanca Ko Wai Neng, who is also organising chairman.

In his speech, Wee said that the symposium will collect views and opinions on Chinese culture from both academicians as well as the general public.

Resolutions and memorandums prepared from this will be handed over to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg during the closing ceremony of the Sarawak cultural symposium on Oct 11.

“As we all know, cultural heritage and language are the soul and root of a particular race, and it is important for all the different races to protect and propagate its values for our future generations,” Wee emphasised.

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“We should always understand our culture, master our own language and at the same time, appreciate the different cultures and traditions of our fellow Sarawakians,” he added.

Consul General of People’s Republic of China in Kuching Cheng Guan Zhong spoke on The Belt and Road Initiative in relation to the evolution of the Chinese people and their culture in Sarawak.

The opening ceremony yesterday saw four speakers took to the stage.

Professor Dr Wang Yin Chai from Unimas Faculty of Computer Science and IT discussed ‘The Influence and Challenges of Digitisation of our Culture’ while Dr Elena Gregoria Chai Chin Fern, from Unimas Faculty of Social Science and Humanities talked about the ‘Belief of Thai Pak Kung in Borneo’.

Meanwhile, UNIMAS Institute of Borneo Studies Research Fellow Dr Lam Chee-Kheung gave a talk on ‘The Sarawak Chinese: National Identity Attainment and Community Advancement.’