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2:28pm 21/01/2023
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Stay united to overcome the challenges in the Year of Rabbit
By:Ang Lai Soon

Ostensibly, after months of hibernation in Winter, the first blooms herald the dawn of Spring.

A time of hope and rejuvenation. A time of change for the better.

Hopefully, this New Year heralds the dawn of a much kinder, fairer, more honest, gentle and equitable global community where there is more love and affection for the family, the community, the country and the world at large.

More compassionate. More caring.

“Within the Four Seas all are brothers,” as the ancient Chinese saying goes.

Hopefully, this New Year also sees the dawn of a more gentle and more considerate and less materialistic world, a world where the environment is also taken seriously, truly protected and conserved to ensure our own long-term survival.

We must respect the much-abused environment, especially after the First Industrial Revolution, in the name of progress.

We should endeavor to live in peace and harmony with nature.

Our cousins, the orangutans, have as much right to live on this earth as you and I, as have all other flora and fauna that our planet is blessed with.

Most of the world is celebrating the traditional Spring Festival on January 22.

If we were to accept the world’s preeminent historians’ and anthropologists’ claim, Chinese civilization is about 7,000 years old. Notwithstanding, it is said that China has been celebrating Lunar New Year for at least 4,000 times, being the world’s oldest continuous civilization with more than 4,000 years of recorded history.

We are observing this major event at probably the most challenging and difficult time in human history. A time like no other.

And more significant for us in our multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual and multireligious country, where our diverse communities take part in all celebrations throughout the year.

This rapidly changing world presents many challenges to its people, whatever their nationality, their religious and ideological beliefs, their status, their age, or gender.

These changes being experienced throughout the world today are ranging from predicted climate changes to fundamentalist-based armed conflicts. Proxy wars.

The underlying cause of this rapid change is an exponentially growing population coupled with a rising standard of living placing an ever-growing demand of the world’s limited resources.

The Covid-19 and its deadly and highly transmissible subvariants have crippled the entire fragile global economy, affecting the lives of billions of people across the world while we are “living with the virus.”

The human race is brought to its knees, losing jobs, unable to put food on the table to feed the family. Mental health of most people is deteriorating, diminishing the ability to think rationally and sensibly and adding more earthly problems.

The extraordinarily ferocious climate change, with torrential rains, draughts, flooding, typhoons, arctic winters, oven-like heatwave weather and uncontrollable wild fires are reported daily in the media. These must be overcome!

But life must go on. We must face the future courageously.

We must all be united to overcome the challenges, help one another. Disunity will only prolong the uncertainties.

For instance, if united in Sarawak, the Sarawak Premier’s announcements of turning Sarawak into another Singapore, Lundu the Dubai of Sarawak, setting up a sovereign fund like the world-renowned Norway’s which benefits all its citizens, each being a shareholder.

All dreams, hopefully, will come true! A paradise on earth!

My New Year wish, my hope and prayer, is hoping to see my many years’ campaign to make cardiopulmonary resuscitation training (CPR) compulsory in all institutions of learning in the country, together with the use of automated external defibrillator (AED) a reality.

This was agreed by a previous federal government but couldn’t be implemented due to many sudden changes of the government.

The current Prime Minister, I am confident, will do it to save thousands of lives and unnecessarily lost. The health care system will also not be overwhelmed, as it is now.

God Bless this country. God Bless the people.

Happy New Year to all, wherever you are.

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Ang Lai Soon
CNY

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