KUCHING: The Sarawak cabinet has a ‘youth element’ as Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan is a youth leader, says Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
Abdul Karim said there was no reason to be disappointed that there was no new youth representation in the reshuffled line-up announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on Thursday.
“I think what has been said and discussed on social media is not what actually happened because when we look at the Youth and Sports Ministry, my assistant is a youth leader. It means there is a youth element in the cabinet,” he said when commenting on views posted on social media.
The Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president said filling each of the ministries was a very complex matter that needed to be considered in line with the Sarawak Constitution, which only allows for 10 ministers.
“So when it comes to deciding who gets appointed, it has to be taken into account in terms of party, race, religion, age, and so on, including background. So a lot of things need to be taken into consideration.
“The youths, be patient. It does not mean the Chief Minister is sidelining the youth members,” he added.
Abdul Karim said the Sarawak government had been using various methods to develop and equip youth leaders.
“If we look at the selection or appointment of councillors in the local authorities, many of them are young people and this is a process that is constantly improving. In view that the deputy chair of MPKS (Kota Samarahan Municipal Council) was appointed from the state youth exco, it is a position that could be considered a tribute to the youth. So no issue about the youths being neglected,” he said.
Abdul Karim was referring to PBB Youth secretary-general Hamzah Brahim, who is now MPKS deputy chairman.
He added the Sarawak administration did not have to follow the example of the federal cabinet, which had youth members Dr Maszlee Malik (Education Minister) and Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Youth and Sports Minister).
“We don’t have to be like them because we have our own way,” Abdul Karim said.