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In his Malaysia Day message today, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal urged the people to work with the new government, at the federal and state levels, to bring changes desired by all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion. Pic by STR/LANO LAN

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia has worked aggressively to free itself from corruption, a significant achievement for the people, which paves the way for a brighter fusture.

In his Malaysia Day message today, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal urged the people to work with the new government, at the federal and state levels, to bring changes desired by all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.

“The celebration not only reminds us of our identity as Malaysians, but also pushes us to work together to bring glory to the country,” he said.

“We have long been free from colonialisation. This means the responsibility to determine the future of our land is in our own hands.

“When we have our own administration, we are free to decide, free to develop the nation based on our own ideas and free to choose a new government peacefully.”

Shafie said that, while some quarters continued to dispute the dates of National Day and Malaysia Day, it was a fact that Malaysia was formed on Sept 16, 1963.

“We must not allow ourselves to be carried away by emotion until we forget the meaning behind gaining independence and translate it into our actions as patriotic citizens.

“Therefore I urged all Malaysians, especially in Sabah, to be committed to the spirit of freedom.

“Our success lies in unity among our diverse communities. If we allow racial sentiment to cause division, we will not achieve progress.”

Shafie thanked the Federal Government for choosing Sabah to host the celebration tomorrow, which has its own significance for the state.

“In celebrating Malaysia Day, I would like to reiterate the commitment of the state government to strengthen ties with the Federal Government,” he added.

“The South China Sea should not be a divider, but serve as a link for this nation.

“The Sabah government will continue to hold discussions with the Federal Government on intensifying the development agenda here, as well as ensuring that all rights guaranteed under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 are fulfilled.”

He said the government was committed to developing the state with a focus on strengthening its economic position through fiscal planning and management.

“Since the new state government took over many investors have shown interest to invest in Sabah, especially in strategic sectors.

“At the same time, the management of commodity-based economic resources has been strengthened, where the administration of various departments and agencies has been revamped in phases.”

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