KOTA KINABALU: Opposition parties are expected to put up a fight during the forthcoming 14th General Elections but a top Barisian Nasional leader is confident the BN government will have no trouble maintaining its position in Sabah.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said the BN would remain the party of choice because the people need stability, opportunities and a bright future.
“It goes without saying, we will compete with the opposition parties in the coming elections. They will state their opinions but I am confident the people of Sabah will continue to be with us,” he said at the Holy Nativity Church Christmas Open House in Terawi, Penampang, near here today.
Salleh based his confidence on getting the people’s continued support to the fact that BN has carried out its responsibilities as best it could and that the people were happy with them.
He said the government’s continued assistance to the people in Penampang, despite being represented by the opposition in both the parliamentary and state seats, for instance, proved it was not biased when it comes to taking care of the people’s well-being.
Salleh who is also Usukan assemblyman, said coincidentally, he was on the same flight as Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal on the way here from Kuala Lumpur.
The former rural and regional minister told Salleh about Warisan’s event today in Kadamaian, Kota Belud, not far from Salleh’s constituency.
“I have no qualms about it because we are living in a democratic country and it is up to the parties to compete with one another.
“But I am certain the people in Kota Belud, and in Sabah, will continue to ensure that BN is their party of choice … some opposition leaders only see the bad things. When they were in power, everything was okay, but when they are out of power, everything is bad,” he said.
Salleh who is national Umno treasurer also slammed certain quarters that he said resorted to extreme approaches which sow hatred among the people such as coming up with narrow interpretations of race and religion by suggesting that the federal government has taken away the people’s rights.
All these, he said are untrue and BN is committed to ensure the spirit and letter of the formation of Malaysia are adhered to.
“For the first time, we have a prime minister who is ready to solve the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) issue. He already said, if indeed there are things which were accidentally taken away, they will be returned.
“But it is important to note that the responsibility to defend Sabah is not the sole prerogative of the opposition because we in BN have always fought for Sabah’s rights.
“The difference is, we have the opportunity to manage this problem in the spirit of brotherhood which would be beneficial to the people.”
During the same event, Salleh also announced a government allocation of RM200,000 to pave the gravel road to the church and an additional RM400,000 to rebuild the church’s parish hall.
The church’s Sunday school building which is under construction will also receive some funds, he added.