SIBU, May 2 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today delivered a simple but important message to the people of Sibu — vote for the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Sibu parliamentary by-election on May 16.
“The BN should be the choice for hope and better future,” he said at a meet-the-people session in Sungai Merah town, here.
Accompanying him were the BN candidate Robert Lau Hoi Yew, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and BN component leaders.
Najib said he, Taib and all BN ministers and representatives would give the fullest support to Lau, who is fondly known among the people here as Robert Lau Junior, in discharging his duties upon his election.
He also said that Sibu had the potentials to grow further owing to the entrepreneurial skills of its people.
“The people of Sibu, especially the Foochows, have long been known for their entrepreneurial skills, their skills in commerce, willingness to slog and their indomitable spirit to succeed, which they have inherited from their forefathers,” he said.
All these qualities, Najib said, coupled with the BN’s commitment and ability to deliver, would go very well for the town to develop and prosper even further.
Najib said the late Sibu member of parliament and Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew had exemplified such Foochow spirit in his service to the people, town, state and the country.
“He was one of those who really committed to improving the lives of Sibu folks and the BN’s administration.
“I only knew recently that he was already sick when he accompanied me on my walkabout to the Sibu Central Market during my visit one-and-a-half month ago. But accompany me he did,” he said.
His spirit would live on in his successor, Robert Lau junior, who would show the same commitment to serve the people, he said.
Najib also said that he made Sungai Merah as his first stop in his walkabout because he wanted to recognise the contributions made by early Chinese settlers to the development of the town in particular, and the state and country in general.
The town, about seven kilometers from here, was the first landing point of the Foochows under their leader Wong Nai Siong in 1901, and the Heng Hua community when they arrived from China early last century.
It was from here that they moved to other parts of the state.
Earlier on arrival, Najib spent about an hour exchanging greetings with hundreds of people who turned up to meet him.
He also had coffee breaks in between at two coffee shops.
Later at a similar meet-the-people session at SK Bandaran Sibu No 3 in Kampung Bandong, Najib said, all Malaysians irrespective of race or religion, or whether they are from the peninsula, Sabah or Sarawak would benefit under his 1Malaysia vision.
“It is just like staying under one roof, away from the sun and the rain. 1 Malaysia is the bond of unity for all of us,” he said.
Najib said he mooted the concept because there was a need for all to compromise if they wanted the country to develop and prosper even more.
“1Malaysia is a bond that cannot be untied, undermined or taken to other directions,” he said.
Najib also spoke of his recent meeting with United States President Barack Obama and said that he was the only leader from Southeast Asia accorded such privilege.
“I did not kowtow to him as painted by opposition spin doctors.
“In the first place, President Obama wanted to meet me. In our meeting he requested me to explain about our New Economic Model,” he said.
He cautioned the people to be wary of opposition spin doctors whom he said would descend here in large numbers and spin more stories and fabrications in the run up to the by-election.
He said the people should instead focus on building their future.
“Afterall, we all know what the BN can do, has done and will do for us,” he said.
At the function, Najib announced allocations of RM35,000 each to 10 surau and RM40,000 each for eight Islamic religious schools here. — Bernama
Najib tells Sibu folk to vote for BN for better future