Sunday, September 26

Inclusion of UPP, Teras in BN fold justified — Karim

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Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: Leaders of United People’s Party (UPP) and Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) are subscribing to Barisan Nasional (BN)’s principles both at federal and state levels and as such, making it right for both parties to be part of the ruling coalition.

Making such remarks, Assistant Minister of Youth Development Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, added that the leaders of both parties were also elected under BN banner.

“I believe that Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) wishes and hopes are for the people to be united under any BN (component) party or vehicle that subscribes to its principles.

“I guess that they are also the principles adopted by the state BN,” he told The Borneo Post via WhatsApp yesterday.

Abdul Karim was asked on a statement by SPDP rejecting the BN-Plus concept endorsed by Najib during the ‘Leader-Meets-People’ session at Stadium Perpaduan here on Thursday.

The statement by senior SPDP members rejected such concept, saying that it – among other things – would destroy the cooperation between existing BN component parties that had served as the bedrock of unity and strength of the coalition.

On this, Abdul Karim – who is also Asajaya assemblyman – stressed that the BN-friendly approach by leaders of Teras and UPP had seen them being retained in the state cabinet and attending numerous state functions.

“We do see ministers, assistant ministers and party leaders from these BN-friendly parties at official functions because they are still subscribing to BN principles,” he said, acknowledging that SPDP could always raise its objection to the BN-Plus formula or these BN-friendly parties.

“What matters most at the

end of the day is the acceptance from the ‘rakyat’ (people) to these parties and their leaders. If the ‘rakyat’ feel that these BN-friendly parties should be those that represent them, then we have to respect their wishes,” he said.

Abdul Karim further said that the question of whether these parties were legally BN should be taken backstage, adding: “A prodigal son is still a son; one cannot change him to become an illegitimate son.”

In his remarks, Teras deputy president Assistant Minister of Community Services Datuk Peter Nansian, said the party was thankful to both Najib and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

“We thank the PM and CM for endorsing and recognising Teras and UPP as BN-Plus (parties), which means that we are all under BN. We are here to serve the ‘rakyat’ because BN is inclusive – not exclusive as some quarters would like it to be,” the Tasik Biru assemblyman said.

UPP president Local Government and Community Development Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, in his immediate reaction after Najib’s announcement, could not contain his happiness over the endorsement.

“All I can say is the prime minister has recognised us (UPP). We are happy that we are properly recognised.

“I wish to thank the PM and CM for endorsing us,” the Bawang Assan assemblyman said.