Sabah’s many ethnicities a strength, says chief minister

Musa Aman (centre) being greeted by a large crowd in Beluran.

KOTA KINABALU: The vast racial make-up of Sabah is no barrier for its people to co-exist harmoniously and is in fact a strength that holds Sabahans together.

Chief Minister Musa Aman said the state is well known to be blessed with various cultures and religions but this is in no way a hindrance to compatibility and unity.

“This is our asset and heritage because the beauty is that we all can live in harmony.

“Sabahans have a sense of togetherness and we help each other out. This is the strength of Sabah,” he said when launching the Ampalud De Padau festival in the east coast district of Beluran, more than 200km from here today.

Musa Aman (second right) waves to a boatman as he passes by the main staging area.

The festival is a unique celebration by the Tidung community, one of the many ethnic groups in Sabah, which showcases the community’s boat-paddling race.

Musa said this strength had caught the attention of people nationwide, including those in the Barisan Nasional (BN) fold.

“That is why people in BN are also impressed with Sabah. Some are also asking how Sabah BN is so strong and ‘mantap’ (steady).

“I told them it is because we are ‘satu hati’ (of one heart) and united. This is the BN way to show respect and appreciation for all ethnic groups,” he said.

He added the large crowd that gathered to celebrate the Ampalud De Padau festival was one of the examples that demonstrated the values of togetherness and goodwill.

Musa said the government has been able to bring vast development for the welfare of the people thanks to the strong relationship between its leaders and the people.

“As elected representatives, we don’t only sit in the office but we go to the ground to know the people’s problems and serve them.

“We were given a mandate and we take that responsibility seriously to bring progress,” he said, adding this included providing schools, roads and affordable housing schemes.

As such, he reminded the people not to be fooled by the tricks of the opposition and believed Sabahans will know how to assess who actually delivered on promises made to them.

Present were Beluran MP Ronald Kiandee, Libaran MP Juslie Ajirol, Sugut state assemblymen James Ratib and Gum-Gum assemblyman Zakaria Edris.

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