Organ selling: Karim urges police, MCMC to probe report’s authenticity involving Sarawakian

Abdul Karim (centre) speaking to the media in the presence of Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Sebastian Ting (left) and Ministry of permanent Secretary Hii Chang Kee after launching Journalism of Responsible Tourism Management (JRTM) at his office at Bangunan Baitul Makmur, Kuching today (Aug 10, 2020).

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Aug 10: Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has described a story about a local Kuching man selling organs as mere cerita dongeng (myth) and such a report as mere ‘sensational reporting’.

However, he said the relevant authorities such as the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) must investigate the authenticity of such report.

“I saw the video. But I don’t know whether it is true or not for a Sarawakian to be involved in selling of human organs. I can’t really accept it, simply because, you know, all these videos sometimes can be (done by) somebody trying to seek cheap publicity (he uploaded) in YouTube or whatever,

“(But) if it’s true, there must be certain laws where the government can take action against characters like this. If it’s true…I’m worried that he’s a little bit kuku who claimed that he’s a middleman who sells (human organs) for money,” Abdul Karim told a press conference after launching ‘Journalism of Responsible Tourism Management’ (JRTM) at his office at Bangunan Baitul Makmur here today.

Abdul Karim (5th left) holding the poster of the ‘Journalism of Responsible Tourism Management’ at his office at Bangunan Baitul Makmur, Kuching today (Aug 10, 2020) in the presence of other invited guests.

He admitted that he has seen the video of the alleged confession of a local man who was duped by The Sun, United Kingdom of the existence of such an activity in Sarawak.

“I can’t say whether its true or not because there is so many false news outside there. There are so many myths out there. This could be just one of it.

“For somebody to be a middleman (involving) in this (kind of activity) it must be in the country with huge population where he is able to meet them and things like that. Sarawak situation only two million, and then he claimed that he is the middleman to sell organs.

“With due respect, if it’s in Indonesia, or in India or in China, probably there is a probability. I’m not saying those countries are selling organs. But then the chances of you meeting someone who is in poverty and who wants to sell organs will be there.

“In Sarawak, how can you find such individuals, if you just use telephone and internet, asking whether you want to sell organs or not. That’s why I say this man maybe somebody kuku,” he said.

Abdul Karim added that The Sun, United Kingdom is known to write about sensational news.

“To me its cerita dongeng (myth) and they should publish it on 1st of April not this time and we can laugh at it,” he said.

Nevertheless, he urged the relevant authorities to verify whether the news was authentic.

“If he’s involved in paddling of human organs, I think there must be some action taken him as it is not ethical. So, the relevant authorities such as the police and MCMC should look into it if its genuine that there is someone selling organs in Sarawak,” he reiterated.

Abdul Karim, who is also Asajaya lawmaker, was commenting on a news report by The Sun recently that a local man could arrange illegal £85,000 (RM467,500) transplant tourism packages for Britons.

The alleged man, who boasts of masterminding 45 illicit kidney sales, had allegedly used Facebook to lure poverty-stricken victims from around the world to sell their organs to desperate patients.

The kidney trafficker bragged to an undercover Sun reporter that he could arrange illegal £85,000 transplant tourism packages for Britons.

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim applauded the efforts of USCI University in collaboration with Sarawak Research Society (SRS) to publish the twice yearly publication starting in January next year.

“JRTM is the first international journal in tourism and hospitality published in Sarawak and edited by Sarawakians.

“JRTM is published by the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management, UCSI University and SRS, supported by the MTAC Sarawak and Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) Kuching, which is an initiative by the United Nations to realise Sustainable Education and Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.-DayakDaily