The Race Relations Act may not be necessary in Sabah because of the open attitude adopted by the various ethnic groups in the state, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the open attitude of the people of various races and religions in the state enabled them to be closer to each other and reach a consensus.

“The spirit of openness, the intimate ties between the various races and religions enable them to accept the various peculiar elements of the other races.

“If we instil these values in the various races, then we may not need to formulate the Race Relations Act,” he said at a Hari Raya Gathering with the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, here.

Najib said when Umno came to Sabah, the people in the state had accepted the party well.

In fact, there was no problem for members of the Umno branches who were mostly Muslims to elect a non-Muslim leader, he said.

“The non-Muslim leaders of the Umno branches too had no problem wearing the Malay dress and the songkok when attending Islamic functions.

“That’s why if they wear the the Kadazan headgear at the Umno functions in Kuala Lumpur, we will also accept them,” Najib said.

He said the elements of solidarity instilled in all the races were more important than the legal aspects.

Najib also hoped that the BN component parties in Sabah remained committed to the spirit of openness because Sabah was crucial to the BN.

“I used to describe Sabah as a fixed deposit (for the BN).

“It appears that the fixed deposit is still intact, alhamdulillah. It is still in good condition and we will make it even better, insyaallah,” he said.

He said the BN was willing to change for the benefit of the people and to strengthen the country.

“The last general election had conveyed a clear message that the BN must make changes to meet the aspiration of the people,” he said.

— BERNAMA