Prime Minister Najib Razak has given the assurance that the rights of Sabah and Sarawak will continue to be preserved in the Federation of Malaysia besides ensuring that the wellbeing of the people of the two states will be appropriately looked after.
He said a special committee to study the rights of the Sabah and Sarawak people had also been set up to ensure that the interests of the two states were fulfilled based on the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“We will discuss in one family. There is no necessity to make the slogans Sabah for Sabah, Sarawak for Sarawak. We want Sabah for Malaysia and Malaysia for Sabah. As such, we (Malaysia) will progress.
“The decisions (of the special committee) will be made soon to distribute the rights of the people of Sabah and Sarawak,”he said in his speech when officiating the 2017 Malaysia Day celebration at the national level at the Likas Sports Complex, Kota Kinabalu yesterday.
Also present were Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri Juhar Mahiruddin, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman, and Sarawak speaker Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar who represented the Sarawak government, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak as well as federal government leaders and Sabah and Sarawak state government leaders.
Najib said the Federal government would continue to respect and appreciate the decision of Sabah to join together with Sarawak and the peninsula to merge and form Malaysia.
Commenting further, Najib said the Federal Government was also constantly making efforts to reduce and eliminate the development gap in Sabah and Sarawak to ensure that development in the two states were on par with the other states.
Efforts to balance the development could be seen among others in the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway from Teluk Melano to Lawas in Sarawak and from Sindumin to Tawau in Sabah, with an allocation totalling RM30 billion, he said.
“The highway (Pan Borneo) without any toll charges is our (government's) gift to the people of Sabah and Sarawak,”he said.
He also aid that the Federal government would pay special attention in providing the allocation needed to build more rural amenities in Sabah and Sarawak as the rural areas in these two states still needed additional allocation.
Najib also disclosed that the government had given a special allocation in the electric supply sector to the people of Sabah and the Federal Territory of Labuan amounting to RM4.414 billion from the year 2012 until 2016 with the special grant for electricity supply specifically for Sabah and Labuan amounting to RM2.295 billion.
“And, what is less known to the people is that there is an element of hidden subsidy approved by the government through Petronas when for the electricity supply in Sabah the gas price is only RM6.4 per million British Thermal Unit (mmbtu) compared to the RM22.7 mmbtu price in Peninsular Malaysia.
“This year alone, Petronas gave a subsidy of RM390 million to reduce the electricity tariff rate in Sabah. This is among the assistance we provide to Sabah and we want to ensure that Sabah and the people in the state would continue to enjoy the best protection,”he added.