Winnable candidates deserve “traditional” GPS seats – Abdul Karim

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

By DD Team

KUCHING, Oct 17: The so-called “traditional” seats should be best given to the most winnable candidates from among the component parties in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) if the party which ‘owned’ such seats could not find winnable candidates, opined PBB vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“To me personally, strictly speaking, there should be no such thing as traditional seats. The right rest in the rakyat. Things have changed. In most other democracies, coalition governments are determined after the election.

“Somehow in Malaysia, in Sarawak also, the coalition is set before the election. That’s how we come up with the (so-called) ‘traditional seats’, when you are the incumbent.

“But if the party or the incumbents are hard working its ok. But some of them, come elections, they hoped all the component parties will come to assist. I dare say, some constituencies, the machineries are not there,” Abdul Karim told DayakDaly in an exclusive interview here yesterday.

The Asajaya lawmaker pointed out that elections are won on machineries of the coalition parties and not just the charisma of the elected representatives.

“If you have done nothing, you don’t deserve to be a candidate there and your party don’t deserve to be there. That’s how I see it. You have to be fair to the rakyat, to the voters. There are some, I don’t have to mention any particular seats,” he said.

Abdul Karim, who is also the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, reiterated that he was not advocating a free-for -all contest among the four GPS component parties for the 82 seats in the coming election, but stressed that collaboration among them must be based on genuine partnership.

“As much as possible, we don’t want to see free-for -all. But then there must be reasonableness when we negotiate who is the most winnable candidate (for specific certain seat).

“Since we have set up GPS, this grouping before we go to the battle, there must be discussion. And when you discuss, you cannot come and claim a seat when the report comes to show that your proposed candidate is hopeless, not winnable, yet you insisted it’s your traditional seat, forget it. We are living in the 21st century, let the people decide,” he stressed.

Abdul Karim also hoped that all the four GPS component parties namely Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) will fight as one unit in the coming state election.

“It would be good to go to election to use GPS tickets, that reflects unity. And PBB is one of the component parties which holds the majority but then, it must be fair to the other parties,” he added.

In past elections, PBB were allocated with 42 seats out of the 82 seats in the State Legislative Assembly; SUPP (20); PRS (11) and PDP (seven).

However, after the last state election held in 2016, PBB now controls 47 seats, PRS (11), SUPP (7) and PDP (3).

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim also hoped that voters will be wiser to pick their candidates in the coming state election to ensure there is continuity in policy to further develop Sarawak.

“Choose careful and always feel patriotic for Sarawak,” added Abdul Karim.

Go to DayakDaily talk show – “Spot On” – this coming Sunday (Oct 18) for more details of Abdul Karim’s exclusive interview. —DayakDaily