KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak asserts that in order for the country to prosper, it is the responsibility of all elected representatives to prioritise national and public interests over party commitments.
He stated that elected representatives have the option to switch parties due to personal reasons or a conflict of ideas.
“We may try to find justification to show that we acted purely for national and public interests. What we think and believe is not important. What the general public thinks counts, and they will eventually be the judge of our actions in matters of their interests and concerns. They are the voting public,” he said in his latest Facebook posting.
Salleh said partisans should be more careful in branding or labelling elected representatives who opt to put national and public interests above party commitments.
“Most of the time, they are trying to fulfil their duties as elected representatives of the people. If we want this country to prosper, all of us must think of what’s good for the nation more than our own interests. We should be open-minded,” he said.
“However, we still have to bear with those politicians who still believe that their party interests are paramount and above national and public interests.
“Each one is entitled to have their own views and opinions. We are not the ultimate judges of our actions and intentions, but the voting public is. They can and will decide at the ballot booth,” he added.
The Usukan assemblyman said elected representatives should act independently when carrying out their duties.
“They should be able to make their own stand if they find out that their party leaders are putting self-interest or party interests first, which is detrimental to national and public interests.
“They have a duty to their constituents who elected them as well as to nations. They should not only think about the next election but also the next generations,” said Salleh.