Date: 03-15-07 05:18
By Liang Qiwen (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-06-05 05:39
GUANGZHOU: A dozen Malaysian politicians of Guangdong descent arrived in Guangzhou, the province's capital, yesterday, starting a five-day visit to their original families.
The 19-member group, which includes vice-ministers of education and culture of Malaysia, began their trip by visiting some well-known sights in the city.
"Although I drop in on my relatives in Meizhou every time I came to Guangdong, I seldom visit them specially," Hon Choon Kim, vice-minister of education, told China Daily.
"I appreciate this event, which gathers us Malaysian Chinese together to visit our original families and see the significant changes in our hometown."
Hon, a 58-year-old Hakka whose original family comes from Meizhou, assumed his current position in 1999.
"It is the first time so many high-level government officials and successful businessmen from Malaysia have visited Guangdong," said Wu Xingci, an official with the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Guangdong.
"We are very grateful to Ng Teck Fong for helping organise the trip."
Ng, president of the Federation of Hakka Associations Malaysia, said it wasn't easy to organise a visit for some many influential Malaysians, as they already had many business commitments.
He has spared no effort in reinforcing communications between Malaysia and China since he became association president in 2002.
Ng said the visit was just a beginning, as it is the first time some of the visitors have returned to their hometowns. He added that he would help them search for their relatives in Guangdong in the future.
The visitors will visit Meizhou and Heyuan, the two cities in Guangdong where most of them originate from, in the following days.
(China Daily 06/05/2006 page2)