On Malaysia Day, PM urges Sabah, Sarawak to drop regional sentiments

Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks at the Malaysia Day celebration at the Likas Sports Complex in Sabah, September 16, 2017. ― Bernama pic
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks at the Malaysia Day celebration at the Likas Sports Complex in Sabah, September 16, 2017. ― Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 16 ― Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today urged Sabah and Sarawak to do away with their regional sentiments and assured the two east Malaysian states that they will get their rights as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 in due course.

In his Malaysia Day speech here, Najib said negotiations by the Special Rights Cabinet committee will be done in a civil manner “as siblings”, and there was no need for calls of “Sabah for Sabahans” or “Sarawak for Sarawakians”.

“We want Sabahans for Malaysia and Malaysians for Sabahans. We will make sure they get what they are due soon. This is what it means to be family,” he said.

He said that the federal government will address the development gap between Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak and bring the latter two on the same level. On this, he said the Pan Borneo highway would go a long way to increasing the socio economic situation here.

“I will give special attention to Sabah’s rural areas to ensure they have more basic infrastructure because we are aware this is much needed,” he said, adding that the government has arranged for a special subsidy by Petronas worth RM330 million, effectively reducing the electricity tariff for Sabah and Labuan.

“Thus, Sabahans shouldn’t be cheated by opposition claims. We are looking out for Sabah,” he said.

On criticism of the Employees’ Provident Fund’s planned additional US$4 billion (RM17 billion) in the US, Najib said it was his plan to diversify the EPF’s RM760 billion funds in different investments.

“When I was facing the US president, I showed him what I think are value propositions. We want to buy those Boeing planes and Dreamliners, not to give them profit as what the opposition claims, but to revive Malaysia Airlines.

“We want MAS to have the best aircrafts. We cannot fly with old and aging aircrafts. We want the best for our airlines so we can bring more tourists here,” he said.

“Why should KWSP invest all of its RM760 billion in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange alone? They should have varied investments that’s why we have investments in 39 countries so we can give out profitable dividends,” he said.

Najib earlier said that US president Donald Trump had invited him to extend his trip in the US but he had declined, saying he had to attend the Malaysia Day celebrations here, which was a very meaningful day for Malaysians.

The 54th Malaysian birthday celebrations at the Likas Sports Complex parking lot began yesterday with several events and stage performances by local and national artists.

Also present at the event was State Yang Di Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman and Sarawak State speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nasar.

Earlier, Musa praised Najib for his leadership and for putting Malaysia on the international stage as a progressive modern Muslim country with his recent visits to the US and United Kingdom.

He said that Najib’s trip the US White House at the invitation of US president Donald Trump reflected Malaysia’s role as a strategic partner to the latter.

“Malaysia is committed to fight violence and oppression, not as what the foreign media are reporting and the claims of the opposition to tarnish our nation’s image,” he said, adding that foreign media was colluding with certain opposition leaders to tarnish the nation.


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