KOTA KINABALU: People of Sabah need to think as Malaysians with a "Sabah for Malaysia" mindset for the sake of prosperity and progress for the state, says Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Sabah.
Sabah Bersatu chief Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor said such a perspective would foster closer state-federal relations and lead to better development for the state.
He said the parochial slogan of "Sabah for Sabahans" used by certain political parties was mere political rhetoric to fish for the people’s support.
"The people of Sabah want continuous prosperity and development, apart from peace, security, unity and harmony, from the government, ” he said during a Sabah Bersatu leadership programme in Sipitang on Saturday (Oct 19).
“This can only be achieved through close and strong ties between the federal and state governments, ” Hajiji said.
He added that Sabah Bersatu supported the effort to defend and reclaim the rights and interests of Sabah as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“As Malaysian citizens from Sabah, we too have responsibilities to the country and that is why we need to have a 'Sabah for Malaysia' mindset, ” he said.
According to Hajiji, who is the Sulaman assemblyman, Sabah as a partner in the Federation of Malaysia, must strengthen its relationship with the Federal Government.
“Therefore, the time has come for us to think from a wider perspective and be far-sighted.
“This is especially so because we are confronted by various problems, including the large presence of illegal immigrants in the state.
Hajiji urged party members to always play their role and be in the frontline should there be parties that wanted to harm the good relations between Sabah and the Federal Government.
He also reminded Bersatu leaders to get closer to the people to explain the party's struggle, as well as to serve them in whatever way possible.