KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hopes that all Malaysians continue their efforts to stay strong and united.

In his Chinese New Year message, he said the country’s major festivities were opportunities for the people to forge closer relations with each other.

He added that harmony and tolerance between races are the bonds that will propel the country forward.“On behalf of Malaysians of various races, I would like to wish the entire Chinese community a Happy Chinese New Year 2023,” he said in his message on social media.

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The Prime Minister also uploaded a video clip depicting the story of a rabbit named Miki, which bravely continues its journey forward despite facing obstacles along the way in the hope of a promising future.

The video sends a message to all those who have endured challenges and tribulations over the years, specifically that there is always a ray of hope and to not give up, but instead rise together in unity.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi wished everyone a Happy Chinese New Year from the extended family of his Deputy Prime Minister’s Office as well as the Rural and Regional Development Ministry.

He hoped this Chinese New Year would be celebrated with the spirit of unity among all Malaysians.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong hoped that the new year will bring about great opportunities and success for all Malaysians.

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“Let us leap forward to greater heights with strength, good health and happiness.

“To those who are travelling, get good rest before you start your journey (for the festivities).

“Remember to stay safe and vigilant when you are on the road,” said Dr Wee in his Chinese New Year message.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the Year of the Rabbit is a year of hope for Sabahans and Malaysians at large as they work towards recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I hope that this year will bring harmony, economic progress and prosperity to the state and the people,” he said in a statement.

He said that Sabahans were grateful that the festive season was celebrated with people of different races and religions in peace, harmony and goodwill.

PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang wished the Chinese community a Happy New Year.

“Islam respects and cares for inter-racial relations and treats people fairly regardless of race and religion.

“Islam sees the existence of diversity of races and nationalities in Malaysia as a positive thing,” he said in a post on social media.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow in his Chinese New Year message said that wisdom, dexterity, agility and speed – which are the characteristics of a rabbit – are expected to be the impetus for Penangites to move forward to achieve the Penang2030 Vision.

“By applying and practising such characteristics, the state will be able to create and plan a brighter future towards the realisation of the vision of a green and smart state.

“This day brings significant meaning to the Chinese community around the world where relatives return to their respective hometowns to be with their beloved family to celebrate the tradition of ‘makan besar’ or ‘reunion dinner’ before the start of the new year the next day.

“I wish Penangites and Malaysians a Happy Chinese New Year,” he said.