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By Nancy Nais
LUNDU, June 22: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Datuk Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah opines that Puncak Borneo MP Datuk Willie Mongin is a likeable and winnable candidate to defend the seat in the coming 15th General Election.
Sharing his personal view with reporters today, Abdul Karim said Willie practically won with more than a 4,000 vote majority in the last parliamentary election.
“That means he is well liked. He beat Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) candidate in Puncak Borneo. This is what PBB has to take into account. The party cannot just brush him aside and that is how I look at it.
“If anyone were to look back at the Sarawak election held last year, Willie was all out supporting GPS. He was together with all our three GPS candidates to campaign in their respective areas.
“Every little thing that he did, we will reciprocate. If you are nice to us, we will be nice to you,” Abdul Karim said after the launch of the International Friendship Pathway for Miss Tourism International 2022 World Final pageant.
On June 20, Willie confirmed that he had applied to join PBB a couple of months ago.
Puncak Borneo parliamentary constituency was previously a PBB stronghold held by the late Datuk Seri Dr James Dawos Mamit before the seat was won by Willie, who at the time had contested under the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) ticket in the 14th General Election in 2018.
For Willie to submit his application to PBB, Abdul Karim asserts that this also reflects his confidence in the party.
On the other hand, he reminded Willie that PBB has its own culture, which Willie must adopt if he wants to join the party.
“PBB is a Bumiputera party, so he must be a Bumiputera. However, the policies that the party indulged in is for all races and religion. Since PBB is the backbone of the government, he cannot look at fighting for himself or the Bumiputera. Instead, he has to fight for the non-Bumiputera as well,” Abdul Karim said.
However, he added that at the end of the day, it is PBB’s president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and the party’s supreme council that will give the final say.
As PBB has its own way of looking at things, Abdul Karim explained that they will have to consider from many angles including feedback from its three state assemblyman under the Puncak Borneo constituency and the grassroots supporters and Bidayuh majority community in the area.
The three state assemblymen are Miro Simuh (Serembu), Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn (Tarat) and Dr Jerip Susil (Mambong), all of whom are under PBB.
Asked if in the event PBB takes Willie in, will that be encouraging party hopping, Abdul Karim asserts it will not.
“Well, not exactly. In politics, nothing is set in stone. Today you might be enemies, tomorrow you might be friends. This has happened before.
“Take a look at former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad and his deputy Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. They were once together side by side, then they went their separate ways. Few years later, they came back and hugged each other. That is politics,” he said. — DayakDaily