KUCHING: The Hakka community and the Chinese as a whole in the nation is renowned for their resilience and hardworking attitude, said Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Hamzah.
He added that since leaving mainland China many years ago, Malaysian Hakka Chinese have had a very rich history as they left their mark in the country.
“Today, your legacy prevails in the form of your famous ‘Yong Tau Foo’ dish to the development on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia through pioneering the tin mining industry and even in Sarawak, where many lived and thrived in the first division,” he said at the Sarawak Hakka Community Association 82nd Anniversary Dinner at Chung Hua Middle School No 3 on Friday night.
“Through hardship and economic severance, the Hakka people had to be very independent before uniting as a close knitted community.”
Abdul Karim, who is also the Assistant Minister for Housing, praised the Hakka community for their emphasis in prioritising education.
“This has contributed to what our state is today. In rural areas, many Chinese schools are attended by other races and this has helped to develop a harmonious bond among one another,” he elaborated.
Karim later announced an allocation of RM20,000 in government funds to the association to carry out their activities.
Earlier, Sarawak Hakka Community Association president Ku Fut Poh said that the objective of setting up the association in the past was to unite the Hakka people throughout Sarawak and to attend to their welfare.
Ku said the most important task was to establish educational institutions and provide adequate financial support and special funds for needy students.
He announced that the association donated grants totalling RM30,000 for five Hakka schools in Kuching and Serian, RM5,000 for needy students and an additional grant of RM2,000 to the Association Of Chinese Academic Research.
Ku added that since 2013, the association has organised an annual dinner to respect the elders in the community which boasts 180 senior members who are over 70 years old.
Among those present at the dinner were Abdul Karim’s wife Datin Zuraini Abdul Jabbar, Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong and the dinner’s organising chairman Kapitan Thian Hon Ho.