ACCCIM President Speeches

21 Aug 2014

Dinner in Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of Malaysia-China Diplomatic Relations and Celebration of 68th Anniversary of ACCCIM

Speech by Dato’ Lim Kok Cheong, President of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM)
20th August 2014 at Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Yang Berhormat Ministers and Deputy Ministers
His Excellency Dr. Huang Huikang, Ambassador of China in Malaysia Distinguished guests and delegations from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, The Philippines, Australia, Korea, Japan and Myanmar
Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri – Tan Sri, Datuk – Datuk
Distinguished guests
Members of the Media
Ladies and gentlemen
A very good evening!

First of all, on behalf of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM), I would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, The Prime Minister of Malaysia who has kindly present to grace this event as our Guest-of-Honour. The presence of Yang Amat Berhormat has made the event even more meaningful and significant. I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to all distinguished guests from at home and abroad as well as members of ACCCIM for joining tonight’s dinner, in particularly our close associates, i.e. leaders of Chinese chambers of commerce and trade organisations who have travelled all the way from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Japan, Korea and Australia to be with us tonight. Thank you for honoring us with your presence, this has shown the deep and profound friendship between us and we are truly appreciates.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Malaysia and China are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations this year, the year 2014 also marks the 68th Anniversary of the ACCCIM since our establishment in 1947. To commemorate this double occasions, ACCCIM resolved to organise a series of festivities to showcase the various roles and functions of ACCCIM so that our guests will have a better understanding on the important roles played by ACCCIM before and after the independence of Malaysia, our historical missions to promote the advancement of industrial and economic development of our country during the period of a political scenario that was rather complex, and our roles in fostering economic and trade ties between Malaysia and China along those years.

ACCCIM was re-established after Second World War. The pre-war records and documents of ACCCIM were unable to trace or lost during the war. Thus the founding predecessors of ACCCIM decided to re-organise the chamber and that’s where the historical records of ACCCIM began. In this regard, 68 years history of ACCCIM is not a long journey, however, some of our constituent chambers, for instance, the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce established in 1903, was one of the oldest Chinese chambers of commerce in the world. Other constituent chambers for example the Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, the Batu Pahat Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Kelantan Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Malacca Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry are more than one hundred years of history.

In conjunction with tonight’s dinner, for the first time ever we published the Commemorative Edition which recorded the memorable milestones in ACCCIM’s history, its roles and contributions towards the economic and trade development between Malaysia and China, as well as the origin and the background development of the global Chinese chambers of commerce together with their precious messages. As far as I know, the current trade organisations around the world especially Chinese chambers of commerce are lacking of these information. The ACCCIM Commemorative Edition that we are disseminating to all our guests tonight contained all the information which I mentioned just now, I hope you will enjoy reading it.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Amidst the aftermath of the Second World War, the nation faced an arduous task of restoring the normal life and reinvigorating the industries. ACCCIM has played a vital role in promoting and restructuring the economy of Malaya, also assisted the Chinese to protect their interests. To some extent, the history of ACCCIM has reflected the economy development of Malaysia, also closely related to the economy development of the Malaysian Chinese community.

Before the independence of Malaysia, the British Colonial Administration in Malaya highly regarded the ACCCIM as they represented the Chinese business community as a whole and the ACCCIM was given the rights to appoint its representative to Federal and State Legislatives Council, to reflect the issues encountered by the Chinese business community and the public, also to provide solutions. In the early 1950s, Tun Sir Henry Lee Hau Shik, the second President of ACCCIM was appointed as the Federal Minister by the British Colonial Government, marked a special chapter in the history of the ACCCIM.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Looking back at the trade and business development between Malaysia and China following the establishment of diplomatic relations, we would particularly like to thank the late Tun Abdul Razak, Second Prime Minister of Malaysia for his far-sighted vision and courage, took the lead among the ASEAN countries to officially established diplomatic relations with China, proved the good relationship between Malaysia and China along these 40 years, also has brought a long term mutual trade and investment opportunities to Malaysia business community. During the early days of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China, due to some political issues, Malaysian businessmen were prohibited from visiting China, faced a myriad of problems in doing business with China. However, with the continued effort by ACCCIM, the main obstacle in trade and economic development between Malaysia and China has been lifted in end of 1980s; the businessmen from both countries eventually had the freedom of movement to do businesses. The historical process was well-documented in the ACCCIM Commemorative Edition and I think I do not have to illustrate here.

The annual trade value between Malaysia and China has breached more than USD 100 billion in 2013, this is impressive among the ASEAN countries. This was also the fruitful result of Tun Abdul Razak, the late father of our beloved Prime Minister who sowed the seed in the early days to establish diplomatic relations with China!

On 4th October 2013, H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China made a State Visit to Malaysia, and has signed a Five Year Programme for Economic and Trade Cooperation with Y.A.B. Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia. The Five Year Progamme set an ambitious target for trade and investment between the two countries, i.e. to strive USD160 billion by 2017 so as to further deepen bilateral and economic relations between the two countries. According to H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, China is expected to import more than USD10 trillion of goods, to invest USD500 billion abroad, and mobility of over 400 million Chinese tourists in the next five years. This will create a global market and business opportunities, making the world more vibrant. Malaysia should seize the opportunities, get a share from it, and boost up the economic development of our country.

On 31st May 2014, the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Diplomatic Relationship between China and Malaysia was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. Y.A.B. Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia and H.E. Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China have signed a China-Malaysia Joint Communiqué, to further strengthen and deepen the cooperation between Malaysia and China from various industries at all level, which unveiled a new chapter in the history of Malaysia-China relations. For years, ACCCIM has spared no effort to promote amicable and diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China, and has played a vital role in the formation of economic and trade policies between the two countries. Following with the China’s rapid economic growth in recent years, ACCCIM has been working closely with the Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of various provinces in China, Boards of Investment Promotion, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, trade and business organisations etc. Other than frequently receive visiting delegations from China, ACCCIM also work closely with China Provincial People’s Governments to co-organise economic and business conferences, business matching and trade exhibitions, to provide platform for businesses to establish business networking and contact so as to enhance trade and investment between the two countries.

In recent years, ACCCIM has been working closely with the Malaysia China Business Council (MCBC) under the leadership of Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, numerous major events have been organized such as the Dinner in Honour of H.E. Mr. Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Luncheon in Honour of H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China and Malaysia-China Economic Summit, and in May this year, joining the Prime Minister’s Delegation to Beijing to attend the Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Establishment of Malaysia-China Diplomatic Relations and attended the Malaysia-China High Level Economic Forum, all these activities have successfully enhance the ‘business to business’ and ‘government to government’ interaction and friendship relations.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China, ACCCIM has maintained close working relations and rapport with past and current Chinese Ambassadors and counsellors in Malaysia, and vigorously promote the interaction between business communities and people of both countries. At this juncture, ACCCIM would like to thank the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia for their support and assistance rendered all these years, and ACCCIM shall continue to work closely with the Embassy of China to promote and enhance trade and economic cooperation between Malaysia and China. As the leading organization of the Malaysian Chinese business community, ACCCIM hereby announce the establishment of “Malaysia-China Economic, Trade and Investment Promotion Committee”. This newly established committee by the ACCCIM will pull together resources and strength of the business communities, to work closely with our Government for the expansion and advancement of business and investment cooperation between Malaysia and China, to provide more platforms for business interaction and networking so as to create a win-win cooperation. As Malaysia and China are moving towards a New Era of Shared Prosperity, we are hoping to contribute in enhancing the two way investment, to expand the bilateral trade, and hoping that the Malaysia-China relations will continue to progress and Growing from Strength to Strengthen.

Ladies and gentlemen,
MH370 and MH17 tragedies have brought a huge impact on Malaysia aviation industry. The tourism and aviation industry of the country were greatly affected. Anyhow, our Y.A.B. Prime Minister has shown his calmness and wisdom in handling the MH17 incident, managed to get the black box and the remains in a short period of time, this was indeed a major diplomatic achievement. ACCCIM highly appreciate the adept handling of Y.A.B. Prime Minister in this tragedy, at the same time we also hope that the truth of these tragedies will soon be revealed, to seek justice for the victims and their families. ACCCIM also hope that under the close cooperation between the government and private sector, the confidence of the tourists and investors towards Malaysia will soon be restored.

Ladies and gentlemen,
ACCCIM never get ourselves involve in politic, but as one of the major chambers of commerce in the country, we support the Government Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme that vigorously promoted and implemented by our beloved Prime Minister Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, with the objective to realize our Vision as a developed and high income country. We believe that if all these transformation programmes are successfully implemented, more business opportunities will be created and our country economic will steadily progress and develop.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Under the leadership and team work cooperation of ACCCIM’s past Presidents, National Council members, working committees and council members of Constituent Chambers, ACCCIM has made a great stride. We have successfully built a mutual trust with the Federal and State Governments. We are actively reflecting and submitting the views and inputs from the business communities, to assist the Government to promote policies that are business friendly, vigorously support the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) so as to enhance the healthy development of the national economy. With the objective to increase the competitiveness of our members and to explore more business opportunities, over the years, ACCCIM has organised numerous activities and events such as consistently conducted economic surveys, organized economic conferences and business matching, to receive and organize trade and investment delegations as well as strengthen the working relations with Government Ministries and Agencies and trade organisations at home and abroad. In recent years, ACCCIM has ventured into organizing International Exhibitions in the new emerging markets such as Myanmar and Cambodia with the objective to bring our SMEs to explore business opportunities in these emerging markets. Initially, ACCCIM has 15 working committees of which members are professionals and experts of various economic and business sectors. With the objective to nurture young entrepreneurs and provide platform for young generation to interact and expand business network, ACCCIM has established the Young Entrepreneurs Committee in 2011.

Ladies and gentlemen,
We at the ACCCIM will continue to cooperate and work closely with the Government, to submit constructive feedback and inputs as well as recommendations for consideration of the Government, particularly the concerns of rising cost of doing business, the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the transformation of ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital, ACCCIM will be working hand-in-hand with the business sector to overcome these hurdles, and do our best to enhance the competitiveness of local businesses. ACCCIM support the implementation of GST, however ACCCIM hopes the Government will maintain the tax rate at 6% for at least 3 to 5 years at the early stage, and to give an interim period for at least a year, so that the business sector and the public will have enough time to comply with the new taxation system. At the meantime, upon the implementation of GST, the Government should reduce certain tax rates, which include the corporate and personal taxes, to reduce the burden of the people.

Last but not least, once again I am thankful for your presence and the support you have been rendered to the ACCCIM all these years. I hope you will have a pleasant and enjoyable night, and I wish you all good health!

Thank you.


6th Floor, Wisma Chinese Chamber, 258, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


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