Najib: Sarawak must meet two conditions to get rights back

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15 KUALA LUMPUR- Chief Secretary to the Government Ali Hamsa launches World Bank 's Report on Enhancing Public Sector Performance

KUCHING: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has given an assurance on the return of Sarawak rights, provided that “red lines” are not crossed.

He said Putrajaya had no pro­blem discussing with the Sarawak government the devolution of po­­wer and returning all constitutional rights that were eroded over the years, provided that Sara­wakians met two conditions.

“Firstly, there should be no talk of secession. The second red line is that the people must support Bari­san Nasional.

“If you support Barisan Nasional, why shouldn’t I give back those rights, which have been knowingly or unknowingly taken from Sara­wak?” Najib said when closing the Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP) Triennial Delegates Confe­r­ence here yesterday.

The Prime Minister said returning those rights would be good for the country, adding that he was committed to making Sarawak stronger for a better Malaysia.

“If you want a stronger Malaysia, you must recognise the rights of the people,” he said.

He even said he could sleep peacefully if Sarawak Barisan Nasional delivered all 31 parliamentary seats in the next general election.

“I don’t have to worry. Why should I complain? I’d be a happy prime minister,” he quipped.

Najib said he did not want the country’s administration to return to the era of Mahathirism, where po­­wer was concentrated too much on one person who decided every­thing, referring to former prime mi­­­nister Tun Dr Mahathir Moha­mad’s 22-­year rule from 1981 to 2003.

“He took powers from the judi­ciary, the Rulers and so on, but why? However, that is history. Now we look to the future and support the party of the future, which is Barisan Nasional.

“Why look to the past? Why support a coalition, led by a 93-year-old man, that is unstable, loose and without cohesiveness?” he said.

On criticism about Malaysia’s growing ties with China, Najib said this would only strengthen the country’s economic growth.

“Malaysia developed a close relationship with China for mutual be­­nefits as this helps us penetrate the Chinese market. The key to beco­ming a successful nation is to be part of the global value chain and China will help us to penetrate the global market further,” he said.

Najib assured that Barisan would continue to deliver and practise inclusivity.

He said it was important to uphold solidarity and maintain strong cooperation with each other, as no one race could lead the country alone.

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