Abd Karim on real intention of amendment

A screen grab of Abdul Karim sharing his views on the recent amendment Bill.

KUCHING: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has slammed the opposition for using the recent amendment to the State of Sarawak (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to mislead the public and make the state government look bad.

He wondered if certain parties felt threatened or they just simply cannot believe what has been amended.

“From my point of view, what they (opposition) are doing is just to make an issue out of it and for political mileage,” he said in a video message uploaded on his Facebook page on Monday (Nov 16).

He said there was no need for the Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) assume that the amendment was wrong.

“The Bill obtained two-thirds majority support in the assembly, but still the opposition said there was an error in the Bill,” he said.

Karim said he was also quite disappointed with state DAP chief, Chong Chieng Jen; PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh and his member Baru Bian who said the Bill was incomplete.

“But to me, what has been drafted is complete enough because we cannot use hypothetical cases,” he said.

“If they feel that they do have space, the way for it to be resolved is to take it to court. The court can decide whether a person is eligible to contest in Sarawak or not. The court can review how the debate was conducted in the DUN to see the government’s real intention,” he said.

He further said when the court makes a decision it will look thoroughly at what stage it was enacted or written in the amendment to Article 16, or to look back at other matters including the Immigration Act and a person’s rights in Sarawak.

“The real intention of the amendment is to ensure that only Sarawakians can be a DUN member. We do not want those who had nothing to do with Sarawak to contest in its elections,” he said.

Karim said such a case had happened in Malaya where politicians such as Lim Kit Siang of DAP had contested in Melaka, then in Selangor, Penang, Ipoh Timur, Gelang Patah, Johor and Bandar Iskandar.

“The same goes for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of PKR. For a moment he was in Pematang Pauh, Port Dickson. So was his wife,” he said.

He said this was why the amendment was on who are allowed to contest in Sarawak. First, a candidate must be a Sarawakian. If his/she was not born in Sarawak, both or either one of the parents must be a Sarawakian.

“We only want loyal Sarawakians; not like a Sarawak elected representative who migrated to Australia and came back to Sarawak to contest,” he said.