The nine years Sabah spent under opposition rule outside of the Barisan Nasional (BN) should not be repeated again, said Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan. Pairin, who led the then opposition PBS rule between 1985 and 1994, described the period as a “meaningful experience” for the State and people, but stressed that there is still much left to strive for under the BN. “We joined the BN because our struggle is still not over yet and there is much left to be achieved for the sake of development and prosperity of the State,” he said during a meet-the-people session with BN component party leaders at Kampung Langsat here yesterday. Pairin, who is defending the Keningau parliamentary and Tambunan state seats, said when PBS rejoined the coalition in 2001, the party worked hard together with other component parties to achieve the aspirations for the State’s future. “This has brought about results in that we now see a measure of success under the BN Government and with the support of the State and Federal Governments, our economy and security have improved. “The opposition will constantly attempt to poison the minds of the people so that they will stop support for the BN Government through various claims and promises which we already know are only politically motivated. “However the BN Government under the leadership of Pak Lah (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) is close to our hearts because under his administration, the people, especially in the interior, are given due attention through the various development programmes planned out by the Government,” he said. Pairin added the BN Government had outlined various efforts to develop Sabah, such as focus on improving the living standards of rural communities under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), the promise of assistance for the poor and minority races under the 2008 Budget and the long-term development under the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC). “In the BN manifesto themed ‘Selamat, Aman dan Makmur’ (Safe, Peaceful and Prosperous), it also touches on security such as efforts to tackle the presence of illegal immigrants in the State. “This is a sign that the Federal Government has not forgotten this issue, which was not touched in previous BN manifestos. “We no longer need to listen to what is being said by the opposition because what they are fighting for has constantly been voiced out by our elected representatives in Parliament and the State Assembly,” he said. Also present at the event were Deputy Plantation Industry and Commodities Minister and Kimanis parliamentary candidate for BN, Datuk Anifah Aman; Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister cum Bongawan State candidate for BN, Datuk Karim Bujang; PBS secretary-general Johnny Mositun; PBS vice- president AK Aliuddin; PBS Bongawan division chief Datuk Claudius Sundang Alex and PBS Bongawan Wanita chief Angela Motuya.