|LIGHT MOMENT: Abdul Karim (second right) sharing a joke with Chong (third left), with (from left) Wong, Lee and Chiew looking on.|
KUCHING: Politics took a backseat as outspoken PBB supreme council member Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah played gracious host to DAP Sarawak secretary Chong Chieng Jen who visited him on the first day of Hari Raya last Sunday.
Karim and Chong had often engaged in heated debates in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) meetings.
But on Hari Raya, they put aside their political difference as they sat together, joked and laughed like old friends.
Together in Chong’s visiting group were Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei and Batu Kawa assemblywoman Christina Chiew.
Assistant Minister of Sports Datuk Lee Kim Shin of SUPP who arrived later also joined in for a while before leaving to visit another open house.
Commenting on the visit of Chong, Abdul Karim said the Hari Raya celebrations should be about sharing the festive spirit with everyone regardless of political leanings.
“The way I see it, politics is politics but when it comes to celebrating each other’s religious festival, it should be across the board. There are times for politics, there are times for us to be together.
“We should not be overly emotional about it, because that it is how it is,” said Abdul Karim, also Assistant Minister of Youth Development and Assistant Minister of Housing.
He also said that both he and Chong were lawyers, and he explained that those in the legal fraternity usually remain friends although they might have been engaged in heated arguments with each other during court sessions.
“The same thing applies when we are inside the DUN we may be fighting but outside we are very close.
“We communicate with each other, we SMS each other, he even dropped by to see me in the office. That should be the way,” he said.
On another subject, Abdul Karim said he personally did not think there was anything wrong with the recently gazetted section 114A of the Evidence Act.
“I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s just perception created by certain politicians and NGOs.
“It’s already being debated in the parliament and has reached the Senate, just about to come into force, and now we have these (protests),” he said.
He pointed out those involved in social media should know where to draw the line.
“If you don’t know how to draw the line and you say something bad about people or the government, and then you get into the wrong side of the law and get charged, then you have to face it.”