KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 – Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders believe that the reform agenda set by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi will continue to be implemented should his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak take over the reins of power.
"Openness is his greatest legacy," said Upko president, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, who also expressed confidence that Najib would not reverse the trend set by Abdullah.
"After the March 8 this is a new Malaysia, I don't think we can go back to the old Malaysia," he added.
"There is no way anybody can reverse this trend towards openness and I don't see Datuk Seri Najib as someone who will stand in the way of openness," said Dompok.
He said that he was touched by Abdullah's decision to brief BN component party leaders before making the announcement on his departure next March.
Parti Bersatu Sabah president, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, also believed that the trend towards greater openness would continue under Najib's leadership.
"Najib has given his assurance that he will continue the policy direction of Abdullah and I am very happy to be given this assurance," said Kitingan.
After the March 8 election, Sabahan leaders have been more vocal in demanding better treatment from Kuala Lumpur.
Abdullah responded by increasing financial allocation to the state and took steps to abolish the Federal Development Department, where federal funding is channeled through.