Saturday, June 19

Cooperation between federal-state govts can still be worked out – Abd Karim

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KUCHING: There is a possibility that some level of cooperation between the state Barisan Nasional (BN) government and Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government could still be worked out.

PBB vice president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, however, stressed that the rumours saying the state BN was joining PH were just that (rumours).

As such, he called on state PH leaders namely state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen and state PKR chairman Baru Bian not to be jumpy and panicky over such speculations of state BN parties, especially PBB, wanting to cross over to PH.

Abdul Karim, who is also Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, said it was not for Chong and Baru to tell the people that PH should not cooperate with the state government. He said this would only reflect their immature political foresight and struggle in politics.

“The state BN will not want to spoil your winning euphoria. Enjoy it to the utmost. But remember, both of you are elected people’s representatives. Do what is best for those who elected you in. The people who voted you are also the same people who had voted for the state coalition government.

“They want responsible representatives, transparency, justice and equality, and rule of law. This has always been the agenda of members of the state BN. And if that is also the agenda of the federal PH government, some level of cooperation could still be worked out.

“Chong and Baru must remember that their political struggle is not for personal agenda but for the state and nation,” said Abdul Karim yesterday.

He also reminded Chong and Baru that PBB was not having any negotiation with PH whether at state or federal level.

He said PBB and its partners – SUPP, PRS, and PDP – were the government of the day in Sarawak, and the state PH comprising DAP and PKR are the opposition.

“PBB is a well cultured party, having survive many turbulent and obstacles in its 50-plus years, and is able to withstand any new challenges. PBB respects the democratic rights of Malaysians especially in the Peninsular in wanting a change of government (at the federal level).

“Being in a parliamentary democracy system, it is not uncommon to see the federal and state governments being held by opposing parties. This was seen even before GE14 when Selangor, Penang and Kelantan were held by parties not in the federal government. Despite having differences, it’s perfectly normal for the federal and state governments to have some level of cooperation in many fields.

“Both governments are voted and mandated by the people and both governments must not lose sight of this responsibility to the people,” said Abdul Karim.

He also said he was amused by the sudden outburst of Chong and Baru in rejecting any attempt to accept parties in the state BN, especially PBB, into PH. Chong even said that accepting PBB was ‘akin to Umno joining PH’.