KOTA KINABALU: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman chided critics of a forum which he initiated to discuss issues related to Sabah’s rights as a state.

Anifah said the forum My Sabah has been actively discussing the topic since 2015 and attracted people with noble intentions to reclaim what the state was entitled to.

He said however it was disappointing to see negative comments from detractors, mostly from the Opposition, who did not even respond to the call to come together and discuss the issue in the forum.

The forum had attracted prominent leaders such as Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee, Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, Dr Chong Eng Leong, Amde Sidek, Ansari Abdullah, Dr Roland Chia, Datuk James Ligunjang and many more.

“These are genuine like-minded Sabahans who wants to see something done. Where’s the politics in this?

“I am thankful and indebted for all those who stepped up and have the conscience as true Sabahans to rightly claim what we are entitled too,” said Anifah.

He also urged critics to ask themselves what they have done when they were in a position to do something.

Anifah said he had everything to lose when he called for My Sabah to be formed.

Politics aside, it was meant to band together people from all sides to discuss the topic for a common good.

“If anyone were to lose, then it would be me but I convinced myself that this opportunity of mine will never come knocking again,” he said, explaining that he did this because of his access to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Anifah said Najib is sharp and he listens.

“As a Foreign Minister I travelled a lot with the Prime Minister. I spend quite a lot of time with him when overseas.

“We discuss Malaysian foreign policies in general and specific issues at hand and on how we navigate ourselves in the fast changing world. How we cannot afford to be static and on how a small country like Malaysia could be a global power.

“The Prime Minister, contrary to what some think, is in fact very well respected by foreign leaders,” he said, adding that this was why he took it upon himself to initiate the forum.

Anifah said when he invited everyone to the forum, he specifically told them that he was not interested in their politics and that they can leave their politics at home but come and work with him as a Sabahan.

“I told them I have access to the Prime Minister and here is a leader who is sympathetic with our grievances, why not have a go,” he said.

Anifah said a lot of good can out from the forum, for the future of the people of Sabah, which can allow for a stronger, stable Malaysia.


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