Decision on Sabah rights soon
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.”