|Abdul Karim (third left) in a group photo with See (fourth left), national PKR Women vice president Voon Shiak Ni (left), state PKR Women chief Nurhanim Hanna Mokhsen (second left) and other guests.|
KUCHING: Assistant Minister of Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah opined a call by the SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian for Sarawak to be referred as a region in Malaysia and not as a state as ‘very subjective.’
He believed it was still proper to call Sarawak a state because it was a part of Malaysia.
“Sarawak can still be considered a state, but it is a state within a union … within a confederation. So, whether we should call ourselves just Sarawak or a state, to me that is minor,” he told reporters when met at his Hari Raya open house at his residence here yesterday.
“What is more important here is when we signed the (Malaysia) Agreement, there were certain rights that we agreed upon, and these are the rights that have diminished for the last 53 years. We are trying to get them back.”
Stating that the matter was quite sensitive, he opined it was now more important to focus on the rights of the state as Sarawak was one of the signatories to the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“Unlike the federated and unfederated Malay states that are Peninsular Malaysia, they came in as signatory to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 as one entity. We (Sarawak) came in as another entity, Sabah came in as another, and Singapore, too.
“The way I see it, strictly from a legal aspect, it should be called a federation of states.”
With Adenan’s persistence in the fight for Sarawak’s autonomy, Abdul Karim hoped the state’s rights would be returned, eventually.
|Abdul Karim (seated second left), Manyin (seated left), and Fu (standing) laughing at one of Chong’s (seated second right) jokes during the Hari Raya open house.|
“Hopefully, with Datuk Patinggi Adenan’s high spirit in wanting to ensure that these rights are returned, we will be able to get it back, probably by the end of this year or next year.”
During the Hari Raya open house, Abdul Karim and his wife, Datin Zuraini Abdul Jabbar, entertained hundreds of guests, including Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife, Datin Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Youth and Sports and Solidarity Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong and political secretary to the Chief Minister, Fu Kut Poh.
Other notable guests were state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen and state PKR vice chairman See Chee How.