The state government and local communities of Malaysia's Sabah state on North Borneo hosted a charity event late Tuesday to support China's fight against novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.The "We Love, We Care" fundraiser, organized by the Sabah state government and Chinese associations in the state, took place in the state capital of Kota Kinabalu, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Chinese Consul-General to Kota Kinabalu, Liang Caide, who was present at event, expressed appreciation for the people and government of Sabah for their support to China in the current COVID-19 outbreak.
"The friendship between the China and the state of Sabah will definitely deepen after the outbreak is contained," said Liang, "By then, Sabah will be welcoming more Chinese tourists, exchanges and cooperation between China and the state of Sabah will be even closer for a brighter future of both sides."
Speaking at the event, Sabah's chief minister Shafie Apdal said that Malaysia was a friend to China, not only in prosperous times but in times of need as well.
"We support the government of China and the people of China. This is the world and we are the people. It is time for us to show our Sabahan culture, our caring culture, we want the world community to have compassion across borders. When we care for the people we care for the world. We are sharing the world together," he said.
Shafie said the decision to close the state to direct flights from China had been a painful one and had hit the state's tourism sector hard, but explained that the state did not have the facilities to deal with an outbreak.
Sabah has been a major tourism attraction for Chinese tourists in recent years due to its resorted beaches, islands, tropical rainforests and diverse culture.
Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew Chin Jin, who is also State Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, stressed that outpouring of support for those affected in China had come from the ordinary people of Sabah.