The Kuching City Day Chinese Story Telling & Recitation of Poems Competition on 10th August 2008 at MBKS Auditorium.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dr. Chou Chii Ming
President of the Federation of Kuching & Samarahan Divisions Chinese Associations, Sarawak

Dato' Hii Ngo Sing
Vice President of the Federation of Kuching & Samarahan Divisions Chinese Associations, Sarawak

En. Su Chua Phin
Chairman of the Federation of Kuching & Samarahan Divisions Chinese Associations Youth Section, Sarawak

Cik Ho Li Ting
Organizing Chairperson of the Kuching City Day Chinese Story Telling & Recitation of Poems Competition

Members of the Federation of Kuching & Samarahan Divisions Chinese Associations, Sarawak

Members of the press

Principals, Teachers, Students

Ladies and Gentlemen

ke wei lai pin zao sang hao

hen kan sie ni men cin thien lai chan zia ze ke yi shi

It gives me pleasure to be here today and be given the honour to grace the Chinese Story Telling and Recitation of Poems Competition. Today is Sunday, a day of rest, usually a time when many among us would prefer to sleep in, or attend to one of our favourites pastimes. Yet, you have all generously taken time off, to get up early to be present here for the Chinese Story Telling & Recitation of Poems Competition.

ke wei lai pin (Ladies and Gentlemen)

The Chinese language has always been a source of pride to the Chinese and a source of wonder and fascination to foreigners. The Chinese ideograph can be traced back beyond 3000 years and is the oldest living language. Although it is spoken in a wide range of accents and pronunciation across the length and breadth of China, the different renderings are all recognizable as the same language.

A language is spoken long before it is written and read. Nearly all languages have syllabaries or phonetic scripts without pictographs or ideographs. These languages are easy to read and write. On the other hand, a Chinese ideograph has to be memorized, together with its phonetic rendering. This makes learning the Chinese language more of a two stage process. First, the word has to be remembered for its phonetic pronunciation, then the ideograph must be memorized as representing that phonetic rendering. Furthermore, many characters can and do frequently share the same phonetic sound.

ke wei lai pin (Ladies and Gentlemen)

There is a popular Chinese saying:- Chinese people can be found wherever there is sea water; and Chinese schools can be found wherever there are Chinese people. We Chinese build and run Chinese schools wherever we settle down. The aim of this is to let Chinese descendents understand Chinese history and culture by studying Chinese. Today, although Chinese middle schools are not part of the national educational system, they provide the society and country with countless skillful and talented professionals in various departments. At the same time, Chinese education has contributed largely to the multi-cultural characteristic of Malaysia. This has become particularly important since tourism turned into one of the main sources of income of our country.

On the other hand, no one had predicted success for China when they announced economic reformation in the eighties, but today, after twenty years of hard work, China has developed into one of the driving forces of world economics and biggest market which provides a base where different products are being made. Under this trend, Chinese language has become one of the mostly used languages in the world. Apart from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Malaysia is the country which has the most complete and best Chinese educational system. This gives Malaysia a huge advantage and a competitive edge over other countries when it comes to investment in China.

ke wei lai pin (Ladies and Gentlemen)

The improvement in our day use of the Chinese language must be addressed in a concerted manner. The schools are playing their part to encourage the use of proper Chinese. Schools have regularly organised Speak Chinese campaigns, speech, drama and storytelling activities, debates, essay competitions, extensive reading programmes and Chinese language camps, among a host of others. These activities and programmes should continue and even be stepped up if necessary, to encourage the use of standard Chinese among pupils. Undeniably parents an important role in inducing the children's acquisition of Chinese language. Parents should acknowledge their children the importance of Chinese nowadays in the society and try to kindle their children's learning interest since young. This can be as simple as encouraging your children to read more Chinese story books, magazines, newspaper or communicate with them in Chinese if necessarily.

This Chinese Story Telling & Recitation of Poems Competition will bring your children with innumerable paybacks. The competition motivates your children to equip themselves with Chinese language knowledge. They can better implement their writing and communication skills next time when they further their studies or in work forces or even during their travel trips. Here, I am pretty grateful and in high spirits acknowledging 60 students from 20 secondary schools in Kuching and Samarahan divisions are taking part in today's competition. This signifies many parents and careers are extremely apprehensive towards their children's further development. I am also be thankful for the schools' principles for your kind consideration and effort to induce the students' participation to bring this rivalry to a success.

ke wei lai pin (Ladies and Gentlemen)

I wish to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of the participants from the various schools for taking part in this meaningful competition and making it a success. At the same time, I hope that their participation in today's activity will not just end here but that they would use their influence in their respective schools to help improve the level of competency in the Chinese language among Sarawakians. Let's us together to build a society, with a well-known recognition as being knowledgeable, beautiful and skilful Malaysia to accomplish 'THE VISION 2020'.

xie xie (thank you).