SARAWAK - There is no turning back. Sarawak and Sabah will never break away from Malaysia because the country has gone too far together and the only way to march forward is together, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Speaking before 40,000 people at the Miri City Fan Recreation Park when launching the grand celebration for the 51st anniversary of Malaysia Day here last night, he said Sarawak, Sabah and the peninsula had become one big family over the past 51 years.
"We have gone through so much together, overcoming many challenges and we have achieved so much progress together as one big family, one nation.
"I believe the majority of the people of Sarawak and Sabah do not regret the decision made 51 years ago to come together with Malaya to form Malaysia.
"Soldiers from the peninsula have come to Sarawak and Sabah to die defending the states and Sarawakians and Sabahans have gone to the peninsula to give up their lives for their country.
"We Malaysians, from the peninsula, from Sarawak and Sabah, will not turn back. There is no turning back.
"We will defend Sarawak and Sabah within Malaysia.
"I, as the PM and head of this big Malaysian family, promise that if any quarters threaten our safety and unity, I will use the full brunt of the law on them," he said.
Najib said certain small groups of people in Sabah and Sarawak had been talking about trying to get the two states to leave Malaysia because they were not happy with certain things about the country.
He stressed that even though there might be differences between the two states and Putrajaya, the Federal Government still cared for the people of the two states and had their welfare at heart.
"In a big family, sometimes problems crop up but I, as the head of the family, am always willing to listen.
"The CM of Sarawak and CM of Sabah always have access to me. Sarawak and Sabah recently said they want increased oil royalty and I am already considering it," he said.
He said to enhance national integration, next year's celebration of Aug 31 and Sept 16 would be placed on equal importance and that the number of years the states were part of Malaysia would not become an issue to be highlighted.
Najib lavished praise on Sarawak and Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem for pledging that Sarawak would never leave Malaysia.
He also thanked the people of Miri for turning up in droves to celebrate the joyful event.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who joined Najib in the celebration, said the event received an overwhelming response from the people in Sarawak.
He said the spirit of Merdeka was very crucial in the building of a multi-racial and multi-religious country.
"The Prime Minister's message is very clear that we have to be united and move forward towards a developed country by 2020. All of us are together as a family and a country," he added.
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem described any suggestion of secession as stupid.
He said there was no denying that Sarawak had derived much benefit from being in Malaysia.
"Recently, certain small quarters of people in Sabah and Sarawak spoke about wanting us to leave Malaysia.
"That is a stupid idea. Sarawak has become one big progressive state, sovereign and proud.
"Our founding fathers did the right thing and we appreciate and remember their deeds," he said.