Friday, 5 May 2017

Abdul Karim against citizens-initiated referendum

May 5, 2017

KUCHING: There is no necessity to introduce a citizens-initiated referendum (CIR) in the state, said Assistant Minister of Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. According to him, elections held in the state every five years is already a form of referendum.

“As it is, the rakyat has already mandated their elected representatives to speak on their behalf in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) and Parliament.

“Why do we need to waste time and money holding ‘people’s election’ or referendum again for every important issue that arises?” he questioned.

Abdul Karim was commenting on Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How’s plan to table a private member’s bill at the coming DUN sitting to enact a state law to provide for the holding of CIR in Sarawak.

The state PKR vice chairman who submitted his private member’s bill last week said the indicative referendum will show the opinion of Sarawakians on specific questions but will not be binding on the government.

To this, Abdul Karim, who is also Asajaya assemblyman, pointed out that the use of social media has allowed the people to express their views in blogs, Facebook and other social media platforms.

“Their views can be seen by the government of the day and/or for the government to make amends or take into account the public’s views when preparing any new laws,” he said in a statement yesterday.

As such, he deemed the ‘so-called CIR’ as nothing more than a publicity stunt for the next DUN sitting. 

“I don’t find it (CIR) relevant or necessary. Maybe the opposition feels that they are not capable as elected representatives and now need the rakyat to decide things for them. If that’s the case, do we need elections anymore?” he quipped. -TheBorneoPost

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