Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak urged Sabahans today to desist their calls to withdraw from Malaysia, amid growing frustration over a perceived loss of their rights.
Najib said the federal government does not have any intention to strip Sabah of its rights as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“If any part of the MA63 document was interpreted wrongly, my door is open for discussion,” he said in his speech while opening the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) convention at the Penampang Culture Centre here.
He likened the situation to disagreements within a family and said such matters could be resolved amiably.
“As a family, there is always the space to negotiate. I’m not taking away any rights from Sabahans. I want to defend them.
“But I’m asking you not to talk about secession. No, no, no. Don’t say you will leave. We are from the same family and you cannot leave just because of a difference in opinion,” he said.
Earlier, Upko president Datuk Madius Tangau said his party is for Sabah to stay a part of the Malaysia federation.
Najib said he was grateful and relieved. He reiterated that the 13-party Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition is like a big family and members should not let their disagreements results in fragmentation.
“Our happiness depends on our unity, and we are part of a bigger picture that is the country.
“If there is any kind of shortcoming in Sabah, we will help. We want to see Sabah continue to progress to the same level as in Semenanjung,” Najib said.
The BN national chairman said his dream is for Malaysia to be among the best nations in the world and he was initiating dialogue to be carried out at every level on the Transformasi Nasional 2050 to achieve that goal.
Najib also announced a RM1 million allocation to the state to help preserve the learning of the Kadazan language.
Source : JULIA CHAN@The Malay Mail Online