Published on: Saturday, February 09, 2013
"Let us also continue to bridge gaps between Malaysians in the peninsula with us here in Sabah and neighbouring Sarawak," he said in his Chinese New Year message, Friday.
"There has already been a lot of progress in nurturing understanding, and this must be enhanced on a continued basis."
As a melting pot of people from diverse backgrounds, he said Malaysia has a lot to be proud of and that this diversity is what makes the country strong.
Towards this end, he called on everyone to continue respecting one another and ensure that unity is preserved as Malaysia's pillar of progress and growth.
"On behalf of my wife Faridah Haji Tussin, our family and the Sabah State Government, I wish to extend Chinese New Year greetings to the Chinese community in Sabah and in Malaysia," he said.
The year 2013, Musa said, is another opportunity for the celebration of the Chinese New Year against a backdrop of peace.
He said it has become a way of life for Malaysians to visit one another during festivities, and to extend greetings in the spirit of oneness.
"This is the essence of 1Malaysia that binds us all, irrespective of who we are," he said.
And as the Chinese calendar moves into the Year of the Snake, he called on everyone to review their achievements and find ways to overcome setbacks.
"Our experiences, whether personal or in government or in the private and non-government sectors, should serve as reminders to us on how best to move forward," he said.
Musa, who is also Finance Minister, said on a larger scale, everyone must work together to bring more progress for Sabah and Malaysia.
He said there is positive development in several sectors of the economy, notably in oil and gas, palm oil and tourism, which are also listed in Malaysia's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
In a globalised world, he said it is also pertinent for everyone to nurture innovation and creativity, especially among the young, in order to remain competitive.
The young, he said, have much to offer to the nation, and the Government is committed in supporting school leavers to take up tertiary level courses by bringing higher education closer to the people.
He said this is evident through the establishment of relevant learning centres at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park, the Sandakan Education Hub and the Kimanis Petroleum Training Centre.
"It is not only timely development programmes that the Government is committed to. The Barisan Nasional Government listens to the needs of the people and constantly strives to address matters raised," he said.
The Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants in Sabah, he said, is a step by the Government after concerns were brought up by various quarters.
"This shows our sincerity and it is my hope that we allow the RCI to finish its investigations before coming to our own conclusions," he said.
The BN Government, Musa said, continues to look into the welfare of the people regardless of background with the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) 2.0 now in its second phase.
He said the Government is also disbursing RM100 to school-going children to enable them to purchase educational material.
However, Musa said it was unfortunate that some quarters are taking full advantage of the situation by criticising the Government for its efforts.
To this, he stressed that the Government is sincere and that all Malaysians in Sabah should disregard claims made by the opposition over the aid programmes and the range of projects that the Government plans for the people.
The opposition, he said, is getting more desperate by the day and will spew lies to discredit the Government's hard work over the years.
Nevertheless, the BN Government has a proven track record and investors will continue to be drawn to Malaysia to do business, he said.
On Federal Government-led initiatives such as the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) 2.0, he said, they are on track and are showing the desired results.
"These programmes encompass diverse sectors of the economy and answer the aspirations of Malaysians while strengthening the Government's delivery system.
"The Sabah State Government is committed to these initiatives, and I wish to call on Malaysians in Sabah to support these programmes," he said.
Musa said the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP) and the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) are also progressing well with the overall aim of uplifting standards of living.
Emphasis on vital infrastructure, such as roads and schools, he said, is always on the agenda as the Government strives to bridge regional imbalances within Sabah.
"We are also always open to listening to issues raised by the business and trade community in Sabah, and to work with them in finding solutions, some of which require consultations with the Federal Government," he said.
To this, Musa reassured the Chinese community in Sabah of the Government's continuous support towards the growth of Chinese schools, temples and cultural activities.
The Sabah State Government, he said, would continue to disburse financial aid for Chinese schools and temples, the way it has done for many years now.
"We also support Chinese non-governmental organisations that work towards advancing education and welfare activities," he said.
He said the Government recognises that education is very important to the Chinese community and will continue to assist where possible.
"It is my hope that the Chinese community will continue to back the BN Government," he said.
Musa also reminded everyone to remember the less fortunate in this festive period.
He commended groups that share festive cheers by visiting those in need and also expressed his appreciation to the security forces who work hard during festive seasons to make sure that the state and nation remain safe.
"We remain indebted to them for the sacrifices that they make.
Let us all close ranks and remain united and I hope that the New Year brings more prosperity and peace to the nation. Gong Xi Fa Cai," he said.