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Federal Government Truly Committed To Increasing Contributions For Sabah's Development - Najib

KOTA KINABALU, JulY 12 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Federal Government is truly committed to increasing contributions to Sabah through methods deemed suitable without affecting the development of the oil industry in the state.

As an immediate measure, Najib announced that Petronas had agreed to increase it Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contributions for Sabah particularly in the field of education, including provision of facilities for rural schools, training, technical expertise and scholarships for university students.

"If we want continued success, we must have the capability. The question is not getting government contracts solely. It's not about giving contracts, its about giving value. In the competitive economy today, creative value will determine our continued success. We will increase the capacity of the people of Sabah," he said.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said this at a breaking-of-the fast function here Saturday night. Also present were his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

According to Najib, the close relationship between the federal government and the Sabah government all this while and Sabah's contribution to the victory of the Barisan Nasional in each general election had made it possible for the two governments to negotiate on any matter including the issue of oil royalty.

Najib said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had never remained silent regarding the oil royalty issue for Sabah and that Musa had often asked him how Sabah could receive more from the development of the oil and gas industry in the state.

"So, if any matter arises from time to time, of course we can negotiate on it. Not necessarily we will set it aside, not necessarily we have to move a motion on it in the state assembly. On the royalty issue, the Sabah government is concerned about it. I can verify this," he said.

Najib said following the efforts by Musa (on the oil royalty issue), he had instructed Petronas' president to give a special briefing to the state government and federal ministers from Sabah on the issue, and as a result, all involved clearly understood the issue of increased revenue for the Sabah government.

"Believe me, we will do the best for Sabah. This is not political rhetoric, the fact of the matter is that if we add up the allocations received by Sabah through federal ministries and agencies together with development and operational expenditure, the amount is three times the 20 per cent oil royalty sought for the state by the opposition," he said.

Najib also announced that the federal government had its ways to assist the Sabah government and that the methods were being discussed between the two governments.

The form of assistance would be announced when the time came, he added.

Meanwhile, Najib, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, urged leaders and members of BN component parties in Sabah to abide by the BN power-sharing concept and spirit, and decision-making based on consensus.

"This will ensure that Sabah BN remains intact and the state continues to be BN's fixed deposit in the next general election," he added.

He said leaders of BN component parties should be willing to sit down together and listen to any problems while BN MPs and assemblymen should be fair to leaders and members of other component parties, including in the distribution of aid.

"If leaders of BN component parties act fairly and are inclusive over distribution of aid, the situation will give continued strength to BN in Sabah.

"I've have no doubts that Sabah has a great future and will continue to move forward with the state government under the BN," he added.

-- BERNAMA




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