De­ci­sion on Sabah rights soon

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jenne La­jiun

KOTA KIN­A­BALU: The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment re­spects the rights of the peo­ple of Sabah, said Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Tun Razak dur­ing the Hari Malaysia cel­e­bra­tion yes­ter­day.

“When Sabah achieved her in­de­pen­dence and agreed to join with two other re­gions, we ap­pre­ci­ate the de­ci­sion that was made by the peo­ple of Sabah. That is why the rights of the peo­ple of Sabah will be re­spected by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment,” he said.

He added that he has asked a com­mit­tee to be es­tab­lished and that the com­mit­tee will be tasked to study the rights of the peo­ple of Sabah and Sarawak based on the Malaysia Agree­ment 1963.

“And we will ne­go­ti­ate as sib­lings, as a fam­ily,” he said.

“We don’t need to cre­ate the slo­gan ‘Sabah for Saba­hans, Sarawak for Sarawakians’. We want Sabah for Malaysia and Malaysia for Sabah,” called Na­jib at the event held at the packed Likas Sports Com­plex.

He added that the de­ci­sion will be made soon to dis­trib­ute the rights of Sabah and Sarawak for this is what fam­ily is about.

At the same time, Na­jib also said that he wants to see a re­duc­tion in the gap be­tween Sabah and Penin­su­lar Malaysia.

Even­tu­ally, he said that he wanted the gap to be abol­ished once and for all so that Sabah would become bal­anced with Penin­su­lar Malaysia.

He then cited that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment will con­tinue with the RM30 bil­lion al­lo­ca­tion to con­struct the toll-free high­way from Telok Me­lano to Lawas and from Sin­du­min to Tawau.

“This is the gift to Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.

He also said that he will pro­vide the at­ten­tion and al­lo­ca­tion to im­ple­ment more ru­ral ameni­ties for Sabah and Sarawak.

“And that is why there are many rea­sons why we cel­e­brate to­day’s event with hap­pi­ness,” he said to the cheer­ing crowd.

He also men­tioned the spe­cial al­lo­ca­tion for Sabah and the Fed­eral Ter­ri­tory of Labuan of RM4.41 bil­lion be­tween 2012 and 2016 for elec­tric­ity sup­ply and the spe­cial project grant for Sabah and Sarawak amount­ing to RM2.295 bil­lion.

“What is un­known to the peo­ple is the el­e­ment of sub­sidy which has been ap­proved by the gov­ern­ment through Petronas,” he said.

“Petronas pro­vided a sub­sidy of RM390 mil­lion to re­duce the elec­tric­ity tar­iff in Sabah.”

He added that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to as­sist and de­fend Sabah.

He also said that they will con­tinue to en­sure Sabah’s safety in Malaysia and that they will de­fend it for­ever.

“Tak payah buyuk. Kita tatap dalam Sabah. Ti­dak goyang bah dalam Sabah,” Na­jib said to the op­po­si­tion in the coun­try.

Na­jib said Chief Min­is­ter Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman has brought a lot of de­vel­op­ment to the State and that the Fed­eral and Sabah Gov­ern­ments will con­tinue to strengthen their col­lab­o­ra­tion to­gether.

Na­jib also spoke about his re­cent trip to the United States and said that he was in­vited by US Pres­i­dent, Don­ald Trump to ex­tend his stay there.

“But I told him that I can­not ex­tend my stay be­cause of the Malaysia Day cel­e­bra­tion.

“For me, Malaysia Day is very mean­ing­ful, not just for the peo­ple of Sabah and Sarawak but also to all Malaysians.

“That is why in 2010, I de­cided to de­clare Malaysia Day as a pub­lic hol­i­day.

“Not be­cause I know that Malaysians love it when pub­lic hol­i­days are de­clared, but be­cause of the mean­ing of Malaysia Day,” he said.

“When Malaysia Day is cel­e­brated, we can see how as a coun­try, 54 years ago, who knew about Malaysia - an agri­cul­ture coun­try with a small pop­u­la­tion.

“Yet to­day, our coun­try is suc­cess­ful, the re­spect ac­corded to me by the lead­ers of the world, in­clud­ing re­cently by the Pres­i­dent of US was be­cause they see Malaysia as a coun­try that is suc­cess­ful.”

He ex­plained that Malaysia was not a coun­try that begs but is now a coun­try that ex­ports cap­i­tal.

“That is why when I was with Trump, I brought what I thought of as a value propo­si­tion. We want to buy Boe­ing from the US, in­clud­ing the Green­liner,” he said.

He added that the is­sue was ma­nip­u­lated by the op­po­si­tion and ex­plained that Malaysia Air­lines can­not con­tinue its flight with old di­lap­i­dated crafts.

“Other air­lines have beau­ti­ful crafts. The Dream­liner is mod­ern -- 400 are in use now, and 500 are al­ready booked by other air­lines in the world. Malaysia Air­lines can­not be left be­hind in this. We want to be in the front line so we can bring more tourists to Malaysia and to Sabah. We want more peo­ple to come to Sabah be­cause Sabah is beau­ti­ful, very at­trac­tive and has high po­ten­tial,” he said.

At the same time, Na­jib also ex­plained the Em­ployee Prov­i­dent Fund (EPF) in­vest­ment in the US.

“They (the op­po­si­tion) say what for in­vest in the US and that we should in­vest in (our) own coun­try. They (the op­po­si­tion) are not so clever,” chided Na­jib.

“The truth is EPF has RM760 bil­lion. We can­not in­vest in KLSE (Kuala Lumpur Stock Ex­change) alone be­cause if the share drops, we wouldn't be able to pay div­i­dend. So we need to di­ver­sify our risks. We in­vest in the US and 36 other coun­tries,” he said.

He went on that the EPF de­ci­sion to in­vest was not made by politicians but the in­vest­ment com­mit­tee.

And that was why EPF was able to pro­vide at­trac­tive dividends to Malaysian work­ers, he said.

“This is our suc­cess. That is why when we cel­e­brate Malaysia Day, we feel proud.”

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