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Great strides under GRS: Hajiji

Tun Juhar (fourth left) and his consort Toh Puan Norlidah R.M. Jasni (fourth right) cut the 60th Malaysia Day cake while Dr Joachim (third left), Shahelmey (left), Kadzim (second left), Christina (third right) and others look on

KOTA KINABALU: The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government achieved much in terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) during the first two years of its term, particularly in the oil and gas sector.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor said the State Government would make full use of the understanding and good ties with the Federal Government to ensure the agreement that formed Malaysia can be implemented.

He said the GRS Government has worked hard to strengthen political stability and unity in Sabah.

“Some of the successes achieved were through the Sabah Maju Jaya Seven-Way Development Plan (SMJ) in the economic development sector where Sabah’s trade last year marked the highest in history worth RM118.1 billion compared to RM87.2 billion in 2021.

“This increase of 35.4pc was due to the positive economic growth in recent times and I am confident the value of our trade will continue to increase.

“Sabah also managed to attract more than RM33 billion in investment and earn RM7 billion in revenue, this is the highest achievement since independence. 

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor.

“These efforts will be actively improved further including increasing investment opportunities that can benefit various development sectors in Sabah.

“However, we are never satisfied as we will continue to bring development and progress, including trying to solve the issues and problems that the people have been facing for a long time in this state,” he said.

Hajiji said this at the 2023 State Level Malaysia Day celebration ceremony at Padang Merdeka on Saturday.

His speech text was read by Deputy Chief Minister II cum Minister of Local Government and State Housing, Datuk Seri Dr Joachim Gunsalam.

After completing 60 years of the formation of Malaysia, Sabah has experienced development and progress in various aspects.

He said the process of forming Malaysia in 1963 did not happen overnight.

Rather it was due to all the efforts and sweat of the leaders at that time who went through various twists, obstacles and challenges.

Therefore, he said, it is the responsibility of every Malaysian to defend the peace, harmony and prosperity that we are enjoying now. 

According to Hajiji, unity and solidarity between the people is the key to the country’s success. 

“The celebration of Malaysia Day 2023 themed ‘Malaysia Madani, Tekad Perpaduan Penuhi Harapan’, is the aspiration of the determination and commitment of the leaders together with the people as a nation are always united and a peaceful and prosperous life.

“Unity is also the most important asset in strengthening the sovereignty and security of a country that has a pluralistic society,” he said.

In line with the concept of “Malaysia Madani”, Hajiji said it is the main key for the people to experience all forms of progress and modernity based on the sustainability of the nation’s culture, creativity, confidence, wellbeing, respect and courtesy.

“May Malaysia continue to be peaceful and harmonious. The people live united and tolerate each other,” he said.

Meanwhile, organising chairperson for this year’s state level celebrations, Datuk Christina Liew, said Malaysia would continue to succeed and grow as long as its citizens preserve the peace and harmony that has been established and enjoyed for over six decades.

The Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, said unity among people of various race and religious backgrounds is what holds the nation together.

“The Unity Government today is trying to better promote unity regardless of one race, religion, culture and socio-economic status and this is a huge and important agenda for a stable, peaceful, harmonious and prosperous nation,” she said.

She said these values make a nation strong, thus calling for all to renew their patriotism and unity, and to foster better bonds amongst citizens to keep the country going further.

She noted the sacrifices of the forefathers like Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Fuad Stephens, Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun, Tun Abang Haji Openg Abang Sapiee, Tun Jugah Anak Barieng, Stephen Kalong Ningkan and Tan Sri Abang Abu Bakar Abang Mustapha, among others.

She said the Malaysia Madani values based on six main cores – sustainability, prosperity, innovation, respect, confidence and humanity –  are important in strengthening a country.

“These values help us brave through obstacles ahead as we all face globalisation and other challenges in life,” Liew said. 

Liew called on especially youths to embrace these values and learn about the history behind the formation of Malaysia.

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