SEMPORNA – Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today expressed confidence that the Barisan Nasional would retain the Semporna parliamentary seat in the coming general election, saying he based his conviction on the support of the constituents.
The Prime Minister said the constituents might have undergone tremendous challenges (due to incumbent MP Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal quitting UMNO) but he was sure Semporna would remain with the BN. Shafie now heads the opposition Parti Warisan Sabah.
“I am moved by the very warm welcome accorded to me today on my visit to Semporna and I am touched by the Semporna people’s undivided loyalty to the BN,” said Najib at the launch of the Semporna International Tourism Centre here.
Najib also handed over land titles to 1,000 people and declared Bum-Bum as a sub-district.
Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, Semporna UMNO Division acting chief Datuk Nasir Tun Sakaran and Semporna UMNO Information chief Datuk Ramlee Marahaban also attended the event.
Najib said he would continue to focus his attention on the people of Semporna who, he added, remained loyal to the BN.
He said the struggle of the BN, especially UMNO, in the district should be continued as the party was strong and determined in championing the people there and carrying on with the development agenda.
The BN chairman and UMNO president said the leaders of the party derived their strength from the party.
He cited the example of UMNO founder Datuk Onn Jaafar who left UMNO because he disagreed with its policies and went on to set up Parti Negara.
“Leaders leave UMNO because their ideals are not realised and because they give priority to personal interests. They should, in fact, give preference to the party struggle,” he said.
Najib said that in the UMNO struggle, there should be loyalty to the leaders and the party and not loyalty to personal interests.
He also cited the example of Mohd Shafie, who was an UMNO vice-president, saying he was not grateful and stabbed him in the back with his decision to quit UMNO.
“I gave him the extraordinary opportunity of becoming a vice-president (of UMNO) and appointed him as the minister of rural and regional development to transform the rural areas especially in Sabah.
“I advised him to discuss the matter with Musa (the Sabah chief minister) but he did not listen to much of my advice. I was disappointed that under certain circumstance he stabbed me in the back … it is painful when a close friend does that to you,” said the Prime Minister. – BERNAMA