Abdul Karim slams PH’s U-turn on political appointees leading govt-linked, statutory bodies

Abdul Karim (second right) speaking at a press conference at his office in Kuching today (Feb 20, 2020).

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KUCHING, Feb 20: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sport Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has sharply criticised the federal government for failing to deliver its promises, yet again.

He was referring to the appointment of Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei as the new chairman of Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (LPKP) Sarawak.

“Before the last general election, they made their stand against politicians heading statutory bodies and government-linked companies.

“But now we see that this promise was not kept with so many political appointees heading various bodies,” he said, in what may be construed as a reference to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.

Abdul Karim also made reference to policy uncertainties under the federal government.

“One moment like this, one moment like that. One moment black shoe, one moment white shoe. This shows that there is no honesty and reliability, so how can they be trusted,” he questioned.

Responding to a statement by Senator Alan Ling describing Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)’s move to ban PH leaders from using facilities under the state’s purview as ‘childish politics’, Abdul Karim shot back, questioning if “they (PH) were mature enough in restricting GPS leaders from attending functions in schools?”.

“The rule is very clear. There is no restriction towards schools or anybody to hold sports events in sports complexes or civic centres under my ministry. I welcome and encourage them.

“There is no restriction on schools or anybody to use state facilities, but there is restriction when those events are being officiated by members from PH because they are the opposition in the state.

“I am not being personal with them, (it is) not a matter of maturity but as YBs from GPS also sometime get involved in schools’ PIBG (Parent-Teacher Association). Is it matured of them to restrict us from going to schools when we want to also see children in our schools make good progress?” he asked.

As such, Abdul Karim added, there was nothing wrong for GPS to bar leaders from the opposition from attending functions in facilities built by the state government.

Instead, he urged the opposition members to appeal to the federal government to build more facilities for them to use at their discretion and disposal.

He also expressed unhappiness over not being able to organise mass circumcision programmes in schools this year due to the instruction restricting GPS leaders from attending school functions.

“I have been organising the mass circumcision programmes in schools for the past seven years which is aimed at reducing the burden of the local community. But this year I am unable to continue with the programmes.

“This is not tit-for-tat but personally I feel you (PH) have been immature as well in handling matters especially those that are not politically related,” he added, pointing at issues like dilapidated schools and oil royalty.

“They are good at dangling carrots thinking people are gullible but Sarawakians are no fools. So don’t be easily influenced and use your vote properly,” he advised. — DayakDaily