Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said Umno must continue to adopt the inclusive policy whether among its political partners in the Barisan Nasional (BN) or the Malaysian public generally to ensure that the agenda to struggle for the people and national development is achieved.
As an example, he said, if there were more than 60 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups in Sabah, then all these groups must be placed under the responsibility of Umno, the BN and government to ensure that their cause was championed.
“I say Umno must be incluisve. Umno is no longer exclusive… (issues such as) the state Native Court in Sabah, I as the Prime Minister gave the allocation. The problems of Native Land, I gave the allocation and many others so that we can feel that Malaysia belongs to us.
“Malaysia belongs to us, regardless of who we are, we must have a sense of belonging,” he said when opening the UMNO Zone 1 Delegates Meeting, in Sabah today.
Umno Zone 1 encompasses the Kudat, Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, and Tuaran Divisions.
Also present were Sabah Chief Minister who is also the Sabah UMNO Liaison Head, Musa Aman, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak, Parti Bersatu Sabah president Joseph Pairin Kitingan and all the UMNO divisional heads in Zone 1.
While expressing his determination to see close ties and unity between the people of Malaysia in Sabah and Sarawak with those in the peninsula, Najib said with the strong unity of the Malaysian people, whatever problem that arose could be faced successfully.
However, he said, in order to realise this objective, there must be political stability and in Sabah, this political stability had existed since Umno officially set foot in the state on Feb 21, 2009 and now had about 546,850 members in 5,676 branches in all the 25 divisions.
“This is one of the ingredients for success. When we have political stability, we must hold on to Umno and the BN to achieve political unity for the people in Sabah. Umno must struggle for the cause of all ethnic groups. We are not a communal party,” said the prime minister.
Najib said that in addition, the security and sovereignty of Sabah must be protected and he took a serious view on the aspects of security and sovereignty in Sabah.
He said that although no country in the world could guarantee that they would be 100 per cent free from any threat, Malaysia had so far succeeded in eliminating several threats due to the serious attention given by the BN government to national security.
Najib to defend Sabah sovereignty
Najib stressed that he would continue to defend the sovereignty of Sabah to ensure the potential of the state below the wind especially in the tourism sector was developed for the benefit of the people in the state.
According to Najib, the people’s interest in development, welfare and their future would be defended and the people did not bother about the issue of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) even though issue was being handled by the government as the people wanted their welfare to be taken care of.
Meanwhile, Najib praised the Sabah Umno leadership under its liaison chief Musa as Sabah had the most number of party members despite being the youngest member compared to Umno in the other states.
He said Sabah Umno was not just a component of Umno with the largest number of members, in fact the state Umno had also succeeded in instilling in its members and leadership the value of loyalty whether in good or bad times.
On the three requests of Kudat Umno division for the construction of a religious secondary school, a Bongkol-Telaga bypass as well as to develop Pulau Banggi which is the largest island in the state especially in the tourism sector, Najib said he would be giving due consideration to the proposals.