KUDAT: Sabah’s sovereignty and security will always be top priority to ensure the state’s economic and physical development.
“If I meet (Philippines President Rodrigo) Duterte, I will defend Sabah’s sovereignty,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the joint opening of four Sabah Umno divisions in north Tuaran (led by Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor), Kota Belud (Datuk Seri Mohd Salleh Tun Syed), Kota Marudu (Datuk Wetrom Bahanda) and Kudat (Datuk Ismail Bokiah).
Although he did not directly mention Manila’s claim over Sabah, Najib said the sovereignty of Sabah under Malaysia could not be questioned and would be defended.
The Prime Minister said that through the birth of Umno in Sabah in 1991, the Barisan Nasional has brought political stability to the state.
This has seen development for the state and people of all ethnicities.
He said that through discussions with state leaders, including Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, various needs of the state were being looked into.
Najib said funds were provided for native courts, native land surveys and a wide variety of programmes to stimulate the state economy as well as improve the standard of living of the people.
“Umno is inclusive, not exclusive. We work towards uniting all Malaysians.
“No one group will be left out,” said Najib, who is Umno president, describing Sabah Umno members as strong and loyal to the party.
He commended Sabah Umno, with over 546,000 members in 25 divisions, as successful, adding that the movement has remained loyal to the party.
Najib said there were some people who only defended the party when they wanted something.
“If they don’t get what they want, they will leave. These are not the values and culture of our party.
“If you don’t agree with me, then follow the party rules and fight me.
“Don’t be a traitor to the party by trying to form another party,” he said, adding that all of Umno will stand together to fight against the traitors.
He urged Sabah Barisan to stay united and win all 25 parliamentary constituencies in the state.
Earlier, Musa said the state government is always in discussion with the Federal Government over the needs of the state.
In most instances, Najib said, he gave the green light for the allocation requested.
Meanwhile, Musa said a senior state civil servant will be appointed to the Petronas board of directors.
“The Prime Minister had agreed with my suggestion to appoint the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry to the Petronas board of directors,” Musa said, assuring Sabahans that the Prime Minister was committed to look after the interest of Sabah.