Malaysia PM Najib Razak announces donations to Sabah's ethnic associations ahead of elections

KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak praised Sabah's rich cultural diversity and commended Sabahans for showing that different ethnic groups can live in harmony with each other.

"Sabah is certainly the most colourful state. There are many ethnic groups here but they are comfortable with each other. They help and respect one another.

"Ethnic diversity is not a barrier to unity as long as we respect each other," the Prime Minister said in his speech at a dinner in Magellan Sutera Resort here on Friday (March 2).

During the event, the United Sabah Ethnic Bumiputras Council, which comprises 67 leaders from various ethnic associations, pledged to assist Mr Najib and Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman in developing the state and nation.

At the end of his speech, Mr Najib announced that the government will be contributing RM10,000 (S$3,363) to each Sabah ethnic association to organise their cultural activities.

"This is a token of appreciation for your commitment, loyalty and support to me and Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.

"As the Prime Minister, I am committed to restoring Sabah rights. You don't have to look elsewhere, just look to me, Najib Razak," he said.

Mr Najib Razak hinted in February that the country's next polls is likely to be held before this year's haj season, which begins in July.

Speculation is rife that Parliament will be dissolved sometime between the end of March and early April.

The current Parliament's five-year term will end on June 24, and elections must be held within two months after that.