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Friday, January 28, 2011

Rabbit brings no respite to Sabahans

Rising inflation coupled with few employment opportunities has dampened the festive mood in Sabah.

KOTA KINABALU: The sprightly rabbit, scampering into the New Lunar year, is unlikely to break the prevailing gloom facing Sabahans over the rising cost of everyday living and increasing hardship.

Urging Sabahans to be resilient in facing the Year of the Rabbit, opposition party Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) said that times could only get tougher.

Delivering his Chinese New Year message yesterday, SAPP president Yong Teck Lee said: “Here in Sabah, with little employment opportunities, the fate of many young people remains uncertain.

“Nobody can deny that the rising costs of living have made life more difficult for ordinary people. Everything – from food and clothing, medical and children’s schooling expenses to transport and fuel – has eaten into the earnings of an average family.

“This hardship is visible in the lack of festival atmosphere and in shopping centres,” he noted.

“But, we Sabahans are a resilient lot. We shall continue to strive and overcome today’s challenges. The song, ‘Sunshine comes after the thunder storm’ most aptly fits our situation today.

“With this optimism, I wish everybody a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year,” he said.

Fewer family reunions

The former Sabah chief minister called on the people to spare a few thoughts for the many Sabahan youths who are unable to be home with their families.

“We can feel the anxiety and emptiness of some families whose children are far away and living in less fortunate circumstances.

“The countless young people who left Sabah’s shores in search of a better future, many of whom are still stranded in Peninsular Malaysia and other overseas places, should not be forgotten,” he said.

He noted that Malaysians, particularly the Chinese, placed great importance on family reunions, which is an integral part of the new spring season.

“Parents and grandparents long to be with their children and grandchildren. Young children look forward to a jovial season of sumptuous meals, lion dances and ang pows.

“This new year of the rabbit is no different,” he said. - FMT

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