KOTA KINABALU: Barisan NasioÂnal leaders have been reminded to be the front-runners in resolving problems faced by the people.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that although preÂpaÂÂrations for the next general election should begin now, Barisan leaders could not afford to be complacent and take the peopleâ€™s support for the ruling coalition for granted.
â€œThe rakyat are knowledgeable and are continually assessing the performance of their leaders,â€ he said at dinner on his first visit to Sabah since becoming Prime Minister last month.
Najib said he had chosen to get first-hand knowledge about the problems faced by the people by going to meet them during his walkaÂbouts.
â€œItâ€™s one thing to get briefings in air-conditioned offices but to know the real situation, we have to go to the ground,â€ he said.
Barisan has enjoyed good support from Sabah and this was reflected in the appointments of four ministers and five deputy ministers from Sabah.
Najib said the appointment of Umno vice-president Datuk Shafie Apdal as Rural Development MinisÂter and Upko president Tan Sri BerÂÂnard Dompok to the Plantations and Commodities portfolio were aimed at addressing the needs of Sabah and Sarawak. The appointment of Datuk Anifah Aman as FoÂÂreign Minister was beyond the exÂÂpectations of many Sabahans.
Najib said Sabah fitted perfectly in his 1Malaysia concept as he noted the â€œseamlessnessâ€ among the stateâ€™s 45 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups.
â€œIt is very colourful, this is the best example for 1Malaysia. There is respect for one another.
â€œWhat is more important is that they are all Malaysiaâ€™s rakyat,â€ he added.
Najib and his wife Datin Seri RosÂÂmah Mansor arrived here to a rousing traditional welcome yesterday.
Hundreds of people, including Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman and other state leaders, were on hand to welcome them at the inÂÂterÂnational airport here at 6pm.
The Prime Minister later met Sabah Barisan leaders at a dinner before watching the traditional dance performances at the ongoing Sabah Fest.
Source : The Star