Peninsula-based parties should refrain from meddling in Sarawak’s political affairs, says state minister

Sarawak Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said these new political parties ought to learn from Umno, which had for years left the administration of the state to local parties. — Borneo Post Online pic
Sarawak Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said these new political parties ought to learn from Umno, which had for years left the administration of the state to local parties. — Borneo Post Online pic

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KUCHING, Sept 21 — Peninsula-based parties such as Bersatu and Amanah should refrain themselves from meddling in Sarawak’s political affairs, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He said these new political parties ought to learn from Umno, which had for years left the administration of the state to local parties.

“Malaysia practises a democracy system. Political parties that are registered have the right to expand and politicise anywhere in the country.

“But those who are involved in politics including Perikatan Nasional (PN) Sarawak, they must understand the sentiments of the people of Sarawak,” he told a press conference.

The Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice president was asked to comment on a recent statement by Bersatu Sarawak chief Senator Jaziri Alkaf Abdillah Suffian who said that PN’s presence in Sarawak was to strengthen Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s (GPS) position in the state.

“You have to understand why GPS was formed and what are the sentiments of Sarawakians. They want to be on their own; they want a Sarawak party that is going to look after Sarawak.

“That is why we will not support other parties from Peninsular Malaysia even though in Parliament, we are supportive of them. We are not part of PN, but we are friendly with PN,” he stressed.

Abdul Karim reiterated that the formation of the current federal government was a partnership between PN and GPS.

“It is not PN inside GPS. What was said by Jaziri that we (GPS) are part of the PN coalition in Peninsular Malaysia so therefore we can be part of PN Sarawak, no.

“We are partners in the formation of the Malaysia government at that time partly because we want to see a stable government. We want to see stability because at that time, the situation was volatile and the economy and livelihood of the people was disrupted further with the strike of Covid-19.

“That is why we are supporting PN. But this does not mean that in Sarawak we are going to accept them just like that,” he said.

He said GPS welcomes PN as a friend but if the parties under the coalition were to suddenly set up liaison offices in the state, the Sarawak coalition will become suspicious of their motive.

“What do you want and after this, are you going to tell us that you want some (state) seats?” he questioned.

He urged the parties under PN Sarawak to learn from Umno which has shown their respect to Sarawak parties in administering the state.

“We are able to tell Umno for many years, not to come to Sarawak and in that respect, we respect Umno.

“So PN or any new parties such as Bersatu, Amanah and so on, learn from that. Don’t split us up,” he said. — Bernama

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