Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Selamat Menyambut Hari Kebangsaan 2016

August 31, 2016

KUCHING: Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah hopes that Malaysia will remain politically peaceful, socially harmonious and economically vibrant as the nation celebrates its National Day today.

He said the peace and stability should be safeguarded to ensure that the country continue to progress substantially and economically prosper.

“Likewise, I hope Sarawak being the largest state and biggest natural resources contributor towards the nation’s economy would be adequately reciprocated by the central government in terms of infrastructure development,” he said when contacted via WhatsApp yesterday.

He said this is despite the fact that most Sarawakians are now very mobile and many have the opportunity to further their studies in Peninsular Malaysia.

However, he stressed that Sarawak was still lacking in terms of infrastructure development.

“In Peninsula, they have the North-South Highway which links many major cities and towns there. We are taking about three to four alternative routes, but in Sarawak we are still lingering about constructing our first dual carriageway,” he said.

“Say what they like, but Peninsula Malaysia is far far more developed in terms of infrastructure as compared to Sarawak. And we are proudly saying we are already in our 53th year being part of Malaysia,” he added.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

‘Too late’ for Dr M to say sorry for past mistake — Abdul Karim

August 27, 2016

KUCHING: It is too late for former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to regret and feel sorry for his decision of amending the Federal Constitution to restrict the role of Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the legislative branch, says Assistant Minister for Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Still, Abdul Karim – also Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports – believes that ‘it is better late than never’, as far as Dr Mahathir is concerned.

“Tun Mahathir, during his tenure as prime minister, had curtailed the powers of the Agong as the final ‘safeguard’ for the passing of the laws.

“He also removed judges whom he felt, back then, were a hindrance to him. It’s good that he has finally realised his mistake and apologised for it,” he said.

Abdul Karim, who is Asajaya assemblyman, said now that Dr Mahathir had admitted his mistake, it would be up to the present federal administration to relook into these amendments to the Federal Constitution and review on the need to revert it to how it was before.

In 1994, the Malaysian government, led by Dr Mahathir, passed amendments to the Constitution that would allow any Bill passed in the Parliament and the Senate to become law within 30 days – with or without the royal assent.

Dr Mahathir said it would seem that due to the amendments, the new National Security Council (NSC) Act had become operational, even though the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had not signed it.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Giving priority to Sarawakians doesn't mean have to compromise competency

KUCHING: Assistant Minister of Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah believes that there is nothing wrong with Sarawakians requesting to be given priority by Petronas when hiring employees for its Sarawak operation.

“The call, I believe, is reasonable and there’s nothing abnormal to it or it being blown out of proportion by certain quarters.

“I don’t think it’s wrong for Sarawakians to request for Sarawakians to be given priority. This is one of the fears raised up by our forefathers when they negotiated the formation of Malaysia in 1963, which has led to Sarawak being given the autonomy in immigration and for ‘outsiders’ to apply for ‘work permit’ if they want to work in Sarawak,” he said.

Abdul Karim was commenting on Malaysian Trade Unions Congress (MTUC) Sarawak chairman Mohd Ibrahim Hamid’s statement that competency must not be compromised in the effort to prioritise the hiring of Sarawakians.

“Yes, I fully agree that competency must not be compromised when placing priority on hiring locals. (But) the call by various quarters in Sarawak the last few weeks was for priority to be given to Sarawakians when Petronas or its related companies were to scout for employees in its Sarawak Operation.

“If there is no Sarawakian who is qualified, surely an expatriate or anyone from outside Sarawak will have to be chosen.”

Abdul Karim, who is also Assistant Minister of Youth and Sport, said the fact that this matter was being discussed now after more than 50 years after Malaysia was born, showed that there was unhappiness among Sarawakians and that there might have been a compromise being done, or leakages in the system that needed to be ratified.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Sarawak sasar 534,000 peserta jayakan HSN pada 8 Oktober

August 20, 2016

JOM SERTAI: Karim (tengah) pada sidang media bersama Abdul Haris (kanan) dan Kameri.

KUCHING: Sarawak men­yasarkan seramai 534,000 peserta mengambil bahagian pada edisi kedua Hari Sukan Negara (HSN) yang akan di­adakan serentak di seluruh ne­gara pada 8 Oktober depan.

Sehubungan itu, Menteri Muda Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Ham­zah menyeru masyarakat pelbagai lapisan di seluruh negeri keluar memeriahkan hari tersebut dengan meny­ertai pelbagai aktiviti sukan yang diadakan di kawasan masing-masing kelak.

Menurut Karim, antara aktiv­iti yang disediakan seperti ‘fun ride,’ ‘fun run,’ Zumba, sen­amrobik, seni mempertahankan diri, program rekreasi, gerai jualan peralatan sukan, cabutan bertuah dan banyak lagi.

“Kita menyasarkan sejum­lah 534,000 peserta untuk mengambil bahagian pada HSN kali ini berbanding lebih 400,000 peserta pada tahun lepas.

“Pelbagai aktiviti sukan akan diadakan dari 7 hingga 9 Oktober manakala peras­mian HSN diadakan pada 8 Oktober,” menurut Karim pada sidang media selepas mempengerusikan mesyuarat jawatankuasa penganjur di Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) semalam.

Menurut Karim, Ketua Menteri Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem dijangka merasmikan HSN Pering­kat Negeri pada 8 Oktober bertempat di Padang Mer­deka, Kuching atau Tebingan Kuching.

Menteri Muda Perumahan itu turut menegaskan dengan menyertai HSN secara tidak langsung akan mengeratkan hubungan kekeluargaan selain mewujudkan budaya hidup sihat di kalangan masyarakat di sini.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Pokemon Go a temporary fad that will fizzle out — Abdul Karim

August 16, 2016

SIBU: Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah finds the latest craze – the location-based reality game ‘Pokemon Go’ as a fad that will fizzle out over time.

“I find this latest craze as just temporary. It is just a fad. It is like fashion or any other interest.

“After a while, the interest will fizzle out and other new interest will crop in.

“We are dealing with youths’ interest here…and basically, youths’ interest on anything (that) comes and go,” Abdul Karim, who is Asajaya assemblyman said yesterday.

He was asked on his view on the latest craze in town, where public especially the youths are playing the digital game – Pokemon Go and whether the disadvantages outweighed the benefits of playing the game.

Abdul Karim opined that the government, schools, religious authority and parents need not worry too much.

“Just be observant so that children playing Pokemon Go are doing their homework and having their meals,” he advised.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Aid in store for Sukma silat gold medallist

August 12, 2016

KUCHING: A Sukma silat gold medallist Olivia Chong who was reported to live in a dilapidated house together with her family in Kapit will receive assistance soon.

Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said although there was a ‘means test’ to see if one was eligible for government housing projects, ‘one who has brought fame to the state or nation would definitely carry much weight for approval’.

“We will try to assist all needy families as much as possible including those who have brought fame to the state. But we have to be practical and rational in matters like this.

“If gold medallists are assisted, what about silver or bronze medallists and those who have trained for years to represent the state, but could not get any medal,” Abdul Karim wrote in his Whatsapp.

Abdul Karim, who is also Assistant Minister for Housing, said it was not right to always equate medals with ‘must help’ situation by the government.

It was mentioned that Olivia, 19, who also won a Sukma silver medal in Perlis two years ago, was living in a rented wooden house at Jalan Airport, Kapit with her parents and three other siblings.

During a surprise visit to the family recently, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Masing, said the government should help Olivia and her family.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Unfair treatment by Petronas the cause for discontent — Abdul Karim

KUCHING: Assistant Minister of Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah believes that all the outpouring of discontent towards Petronas by Sarawakians is the culmination of many years of feeling being treated as ‘anak tiri’ (stepchild) and second class.

Therefore, Abdul Karim, who is also Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports, hoped that Petronas would do the needful to address the problem and feeling of discontent expressed by Sarawakians.

“We expect positive action from Petronas in reviewing their employment policy, contracts for Sarawakian companies, sincere effort to establish downstream industries in the state where resources are extracted, scholarships to Sarawakians and perform more corporate social responsibility programmes in Sarawak,” he told The Borneo Post when contacted yesterday.

The issue of Petronas’ preference for Peninsular Malaysians over Sarawakians for jobs in the state itself was recently highlighted in the media.

In response, Petronas on Tuesday issued a statement, asserting its stand on hiring practices and that the decision to impose moratorium was based on “the wrong perception that its recent group-wide business restructuring had unfairly impacted its employees from Sarawak”.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, when asked to comment on Petronas’ statement on Tuesday, said the state government was still waiting for the details because the statement was Petronas’ response to the perception that it was not doing enough for Sarawakians.

“There must be reason for them (Petronas) to do so. So we are waiting for details before the government decides on how to proceed from there,” he said after a special briefing on the performance and future direction of Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) held at Grand Margherita Hotel here yesterday.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Sarawak is also Petronas' political master - not only Federal Government

Assistant Minister of Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah welcomed the State Government's decision to freeze all new applications for work permits for Petronas' personnel posted to the state.

He said the measure was definitely a good and welcome news to all Sarawakians, and showed that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem was truly serious about this matter.

“I’m very happy to hear that all new employment permits from Petronas have been frozen until particulars sought by the state government are furnished. 

"Petronas must know that their political master is not just the federal government, but the state government too," he told a local English daily yesterday.

Abdul Karim, who is also Assistant Youth and Sports Minister, reiterated that Sarawakians had been ‘insulted’ by Petronas for too long and wanted this to be stopped.

“I have said that we do not want Petronas to ‘insult’ us. 

"They have insulted us for far too long on this employment of Sarawakians matter and we want them to change their policy. Lest, we will have to tighten it on our side." 

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Karim welcomes Rafizi’s idea of state-owned oil company

August 06, 2016

PETALING JAYA: A Sarawak Barisan Nasional leader has welcomed the idea for state government-owned petroleum companies to be formed in Sabah and Sarawak.

Sarawak Assistant Minister of Housing Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah told FMT he fully agreed with the proposal put forth by PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli for the Sabah and Sarawak state governments to form their own petroleum companies with assistance from Petronas.

Rafizi proposed the idea yesterday, saying it would help both the Borneo states better develop their respective petroleum industries while giving both state governments better control over the management of the companies.

“I fully support the formation of new entities by the Sarawak and Sabah state governments to carry out exploration activities within their respective territorial jurisdictions.

“This way, both states can have better control of state assets and resources,” Karim said, adding that the companies could either be existing companies like Sarawak Energy or entirely new entities.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Abdul Karim suspicious with motive

August 06, 2016

KUCHING: Sarawak Cycling Association (SCA) president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was baffled with the ongoing investigation by the Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) on the SUKMA cycling venues.

He said he just couldn't dismiss the possibilities of some quarters were trying to project a negative image of the association or the State.

Abdul Karim, as quoted by a national English daily yesterday, said there had been a lot of nasty and unflattering remarks hurled against the association that had caused him to be suspicious on the current issue revolving around the organisation of SUKMA.

“Is this the work of disgruntled people who are unhappy because they were unable to get benefits from the association or are they just trying to tarnish the state’s image over our successful feat in organising this year’s Sukma?” he asked.

He, however, said SCA would cooperate with the MACC in its probe.

Meanwhile Sarawak MACC director Datuk Badrul Shah Norman had confirmed that the commission had questioned 6 persons, including the SCA secretary Zulaihi Seri, as to ascertain whether there was any element of corruption involved in the venues’ substandard facilities.

“This is true. We have recorded statements from six witnesses, including the (association) secretary, since Monday. 

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Don’t insult Sarawak, PBB’s Karim tells Petronas

August 04, 2016

PETALING JAYA: “Don’t insult Sarawak.”

This was the curt message Sarawak Assistant Minister of Housing and PBB Supreme Council member, Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah had for the national oil-and-gas company in relation to the issue of hiring non-Sarawakians for vacancies in the state.

Speaking to FMT, Karim said priority for vacancies in Sarawak Petronas should be filled by Sarawakians and not those from outside the state.

He said this was not an absurd call as the vacancies in question were in the Sarawak branch of Petronas.

“If the vacancies are in Peninsular Malaysia, we in Sarawak cannot be bothered with who Petronas hires.

“Until and unless you cannot find an eligible Sarawakian, then you can look elsewhere,” he said, adding this was a practical approach.

Earlier today, it was reported that the Suarah Petroleum Group (SPG), a Sarawakian non-profit organisation had called on Petronas to give priority to locals when filling vacancies in the oil-and-gas company’s operations in the state.

Abdul Karim welcomes MACC probe on Sukma cycling events

August 4, 2016

KUCHING: Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah welcomes the investigation carried out by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) on misappropriation of funds for cycling events at the just concluded 18th Sukma here.

He said the investigation was carried out to find if there was any wrongdoing.

“An official statement will be forthcoming. MACC is doing their investigation in the event of any wrongdoing and I welcome that,” he told The Borneo Post when contacted yesterday.

He was asked to comment on the shocking revelation that MACC raided the homes of two cycling officials here on Monday where they seized documents related to the organisation of cycling events at Sukma.

A national daily reported that the raid was said to be part of an investigation following allegations that had gone viral on social media where the local cycling community posted pictures of shoddy

props including a haphazardly erected start-and-finish gantry with scaffolding poles at the track events and voiced their outrage over the poor organisation of the cycling events.

It was also reported that several Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) commissaries had made it known that the BMX track in Bukit Siol was not up to the required standard although constructed with an allocation of RM1 million from the state government.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Prestasi atlet Sarawak membanggakan

August 2, 2016

CEMERLANG: Abdul Karim (dua kanan) bersama pegawai-pegawai sukan dan atlet Sarawak meraikan kejayaan pada SUKMA XVIII.

Abdul Karim janji pasukan lebih mantap pada temasya akan datang dengan kemudahan baharu

KUCHING: Dengan kemudahan sukan baharu yang dibina untuk penganjuran Sukan Malaysia (SUKMA XVIII) di negeri ini, Ketua Kontijen Sarawak Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah menjanjikan pasukan yang lebih mantap pada temasya sukan itu masa akan datang.

Menteri Muda Belia dan Sukan itu menegaskan sebelum ini Sarawak sememangnya tidak mempunyai banyak kemudahan sukan yang berkualiti untuk melatih atlet-atletnya.

“Kita tidak mempunyai banyak kemudahan sukan yang baik dan kurang peluang untuk pendedahan atlet-atlet ke luar negara atau di Semenanjung Malaysia kerana kos tinggi berlainan dengan pasukan-pasukan negeri dari Semenanjung Malaysia yang dapat berhubung serta terlibat dalam apa-apa kejohanan dianjurkan dengan mudah.

“Namun, dalam kekurangan ini saya boleh katakan bahawa apa yang ditunjukkan atlet-atlet Sarawak pada SUKMA XVIII kali ini adalah cukup baik.

“Dengan kemudahan baharu dibina untuk SUKMA XVIII di sini, pasukan Sarawak dapat mengetengahkan pasukan lebih mantap untuk SUKMA akan datang,” katanya menerusi khidmat pesanan ringkas (SMS) kepada Utusan Borneo di sini semalam.

Pada masa sama, Abdul Karim turut berpuas hati dengan prestasi dan komitmen atlet-atlet Sarawak sepanjang temasya SUKMA XVIII kali ini.

“Nak kata saya gembira tidak juga kerana saya gagal meraih kejayaan keseluruhan untuk negeri Sarawak, tetapi secara keseluruhannya atlet-atlet Sarawak telah menunjukkan komitmen dan prestasi yang membanggakan, saya cukup berpuas hati dengan prestasi atlet-atlet Sarawak pada temasya SUKMA XVIII ini,” tambahnya.