Sarawak Governor issue should not be debated, Abdul Karim says Voon crosses the line in seeking cheap publicity

Abdul Karim (centre) fielding questions from members of the press.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Oct 5: The issue on the appointment of a non-Muslim Governor of Sarawak should not have been debated at all, says Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Abdul Karim said Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan, as a former police officer, should have been more courteous and respectful because Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is still alive and relevant in his role as the Sarawak Governor.

“He should understand the situation and the Rukun Negara. There is no need to be a busybody to raise this kind of issue, on who to replace him, which is sensitive when we still have a TYT (Taib) whose term has not expired.

“That’s very ill-mannered of Voon. You don’t come up with suggestions like (Dato Sri Alexander Nanta) Linggi or (Tan Sri) Leo Moggie (Irok),” he said during a press conference on the State-Level Youth Day Celebration 2022 at his office here today.

He believes that the issue was raised following the views from Sabah.

Abdul Karim, who is also Minister of Youth, Sport and Entrepreneur Development, pointed out that there is already a proper process and procedure to determine or appoint the next Governor of Sarawak when the time comes.

“We have our eastern culture when it comes to the appointment of Governors and Sultans.

“I believe in the western world, people will not debate on who to replace the director-general, governor general and so on. So this matter should not have been raised or debated at all,” he added.

Relating it to a family scenario, Abdul Karim believes Voon and his siblings will not discuss division of wealth and assets when his father is still around as it is part of the culture and there are proper and respectful ways to manage such things.

“So try to have some self-discipline. I don’t know why he comes up with that kind of idea, perhaps for cheap publicity,” he criticised.

In a statement yesterday, Voon raised that there was no provision in the Sarawak Constitution to indicate that the position of the Governor of Sarawak must be reserved for only Muslims or for one race alone.

As such, he said it is time now that the position of Governor be given to a non-Muslim, preferably a Dayak because the Dayaks are the majority race in Sarawak, while the Chinese should also be given a chance to take on the role as they are many well-known and successful public figures. — DayakDaily