KUCHING: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said he felt ‘sad’ for Sarawakian leaders in Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) over their treatment in the Peninsula-based parties.
Abdul Karim, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice president, was referring to outgoing PKR Sarawak chairman Baru Bian who was ticked off by his own party president and Julau MP Larry Sng being booed at the 13th PKR National Congress last weekend.
“I pity Baru Bian for being reprimanded and ticked off by the party and its president for putting the nation and his ministry’s work before that of the party. I guess by now, he would know what ‘Malayan style’ politics is. It’s always ‘Party First, Nation Second’.
“Though we are of different party, I feel sad for Baru Bian, our sole Sarawak minister in the Federal Cabinet being openly ‘ticked off’, and seeing another Sarawakian Larry Sng being booed when his name was being called. Now they should know that a ‘Malayan Party’ is not where they belong to,” said Abdul Karim.
Works Minister Baru Bian has denied boycotting the 13th PKR National Congress last
weekend, stating that he had an official ministerial function to attend.
This follows PKR president Anwar Ibrahim ticking him off yesterday for failing to attend the congress without notice.
However, the minister said he had already instructed his political secretary Zakaria Abdul Hamid to inform the congress secretariat of his absence, according to Berita Harian.
He was also quoted as saying that his ministerial duties should take precedence.
“If chosen, I will be reappointed as Sarawak chief, otherwise, I am just a small person in the party,” he had said in the report.
On the other hand, Larry, who joined PKR shortly after winning the Julau seat on independent ticket in the May 9 general election, was booed at PKR’s National Congress after accepting a letter confirming his position in the party’s central leadership council.
Larry had won the election to be among the 20 elected central leadership council members.
Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the party’s outgoing president, who presented Larry his letter, was seen telling party members to stop booing.
On another matter, Abdul Karim said he wished PKR all the best in the party’s intention to capture Sarawak in the 2021 state elections.
He said Sarawakians are matured politically now and they would not ‘swallow’ easily anything thrown to them by the Malayan leaders.
“God willing, Sarawakians will know how to differentiate between ‘what are diamonds and ‘what are just glass’ when the time comes for them to make a decision,” he said.
In her final speech as PKR president yesterday, Dr Wan Azizah urged party members to look ahead and set their sights on capturing Sarawak in the 2021 state elections.
Wan Azizah had said while it might take another year or so before the state elections are called, all leaders should start preparing to assist Pakatan Harapan’s election