KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has underlined the importance of the state political history, particularly with regard to politics of development, accomodation and politics of autonomy.
He said politics of development had played a pivotal role in developing the state.
Salleh said since gaining independence, Sabah prioritised development, including good infrastructure, creating job and education.
He said Sabah embraced political change long before the Semenanjung.
“We believe the power (to elect the government) is with us (the rakyat). If we don’t like we can change the government,” he said.
Salleh said in his remarks in a forum in conjunction with Sabah from the Ground – Rethinking Sabah: Discourses and Debates which was streamed live on social media on Friday.
The Usukan assemblyman said Sabah also practised politics of moderation in every aspect of life to ensure the state continues to enjoy peace and harmony.
“If we look at the history of Sabah, there is a proper arrangement between us – Bumiputera Muslim, Bumiputera non-Muslim and non Bumiputera.
“As far as Sabah is concerned, we work together especially to move away from the clutches of the colonial powers,” he said.
As for the politics of autonomy, Salleh said Sabahans continued to be united to fight for Sabah rights.
In this respect, he urged the people not to politicise the issues of Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and illegal immigrants in Sabah.
“When we fight for the rights of Sabahans, we should work together…..issues pertaining to MA63 and illegal immigrants should be depoliticised.
“These does not belong to any political parties … it belongs to Sabah. Everyone should fight for the Sabah rights,” he said.
The forum was moderated by Dr Benjamin Loh of Taylor’s University.