KUCHING, March 20 — Only the prime minister and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg can decide if former state minister Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom can contest under Barisan Nasional’s (BN) ticket in the upcoming polls.
Datuk Karim Rahman Hamzah said Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Abang Johari are also responsible for deciding the other candidates for the Sarawak BN.
“Whether it is a good idea or not for Mawan to defend his Saratok seat is not for me to answer. The question should be answered by the two leaders,” he told reporters after chairing the state tourism steering committee meeting here.
Karim, who is also state tourism, arts, culture, youth and sports minister, was asked to respond to Mawan’s wish to defend the Saratok seat which he won in the 2013 general election.
Mawan, a former state minister of social development and a former president of the pro-BN Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras), had yesterday expressed his wish to defend the seat on BN’s ticket since he is now a PBB member.
He said he will not consider Saratok a safe Parliamentary seat for the BN even though the Kabong and Kalaka state seats are held by PBB assemblymen.
Kabong, Kalaka and Krian — the latter which is held by PKR’s Ali Biju — fall under the Saratok Parliamentary constituency.
Karim also said he welcomed Mawan as a member of PBB, saying that the door of the state’s largest political party was always open to new members.