Najib wants Sabah to remain BN’s ‘Fixed Deposit’

(Bernama) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants Sabah to remain as the 'fixed deposit' for the Barisan Nasional (BN).

He said that this was to ensure the BN would continue to be at the helm of the country's administration.

"A year ago during a gathering here, I had described Sabah as the fixed deposit for the BN. Today I come to see if the value of that deposit has remained or has gone down.

"I am very happy to note that Sabah is still the fixed deposit for the BN," he said at a dinner with state BN leaders here Monday (4 May) night.

Najib, who is BN chairman, said that the BN's strength, however, should be injected with fresh impetus to ensure that the party continued to win the support of the people.

"The support will not be there forever without the leaders, elected representatives and members of the administration nurturing it.

"In line with this, I've mooted the '1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now' concept," he said.

Citing Sabah as the best example of how the "1Malaysia" concept was being practised, Najib said that although the state had about 45 ethnic groups, the people were united and lived in peace and harmony.

"Even in UMNO there are Kadazandusun members who sometimes wear their traditional attire but equally comfortable wearing the Malay traditional attire. '

"What is important is that we are all Malaysians," he said.

Najib also called on BN leaders to carry out walkabouts to get close to the people at the grassroots level.

"We should go down to the field and see for ourselves the problems faced by the people because what we hear from the comfort of our air-conditioned office will not be the same as seeing their actual problems.

"I hope that his approach can be adopted from now on until the coming general election. The people is getting wiser and they are now demanding that we listen to them and help them solve their problems," he said.

Najib also said that the federal government would continue to assist Sabah, particularly in terms of implementing development projects.

"That is why I appointed four ministers and five deputy ministers from Sabah. Not only that there is an increase in the number, their portfolios have also been strengthened," he said.

"If previously there is a minister whom the (Sabah) people said only in charge of museums, that minister is now in charge of rural development.

"The same goes with the post of foreign minister. Who would have thought that a Sabahan will be appointed to the post, but now this has become a reality," he said.

The four ministers from are Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman.

Najib however hoped that those holding posts at the federal level would not think only of Sabah's interest but also that of the country.

Also presence were Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Datuk Yahya Hussin and Datuk Raymond Tan, Sabah UMNO deputy chief Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said and BN component leaders.