Abdul Karim on PN fielding candidates in Sarawak: Mutual understanding necessary between political parties

Abdul Karim speaking at the Sarawak Fair 2022 press conference today (Nov 9, 2022).

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, Nov 9: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice president Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah stated that politicians and political parties must have a certain level of mutual understanding in order to reach agreements.

Abdul Karim emphasised this when asked to comment on Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin‘s recent statement where the latter had denied reneging the promise made to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg that PN would not contest in Sarawak.

“When politicians or any two parties reach an agreement, it is usually a verbal understanding.

“We don’t usually have a written agreement that specifies what two parties can and cannot do.

“We won’t do that. But we must have some kind of understanding,” he told reporters when met following the Sarawak Fair 2022 press conference, which was held earlier at a local hotel.

Abdul Karim went on to say that he believes there is no written agreement between GPS and PN on the issue.

“It’s more about reaching an agreement between friends and parties.

“So, in terms of written agreement, there is none. That’s all I know.

“Perhaps there are some things that I am unaware of, but as a seasoned politician, we don’t normally put this in black and white,” he explained.

Furthermore, Abdul Karim, who is also the Sarawak Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts (MTCP), continued, “Despite the disagreement between GPS and PN, the State coalition still considers Muhyiddin a friend and that the former prime minister and Abang Johari are close friends.

“But this is a democracy, so if they choose to run in Sarawak, we must accept their decision and face them with a heavy heart in the 15th General Election (GE15).”

“And, it is now up to the voters to decide who will win the respective seats.”

PN is fielding four of its candidates in Sarawak this GE15, in Batang Lupar, Lubok Antu, Saratok and Bintulu.

In addition, when asked if the issue would have an impact on the relationship between the two coalitions, he mentioned that similar situations had occurred previously, when GPS, then under Barisan Nasional (BN), was affiliated with Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) in Parliament in forming the Federal government.

“However, in Sarawak, they are regarded as opponents. That is how politics works.

“So, in terms of the PN, it doesn’t mean that if they run here, it means we’ve become opponents because, before Parliament was dissolved, we were together and that friendship is still there,” he pointed out.

In the meantime, the Deputy Premier of Sarawak Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, asserted that GPS is prepared to fight any opposition party that stands in its way in any election, including the GE15.

He stated that this would involve competing against PN, which had decided to run for four seats in Sarawak in the forthcoming national elections.

“We will fight back with whoever that goes against us. That is why we fielded our candidates in all 31 parliamentary seats in the state for GE15.

“Actually, Muhyiddin agreed for Sarawak to use its own platform, GPS.

“This agreement was agreed upon in a few meetings that we had,” he disclosed.

Awang Tengah went on to say that whether Muhyiddin broke his promise or not, the latter had already fielded his candidates in Sarawak, leaving GPS with no choice but to fight back.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday (Nov 8), Muhyiddin has denied reneging on a promise made to GPS that PN would not contest in Sarawak during the GE15.

The former prime minister claimed that the promise he made to Abang Johari only concerned his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (Bersatu) involvement in the previous Sarawak state polls, and not during the current parliamentary election. — DayakDaily