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Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah speaks to reporters July 25, 2019. ― Picture by Sulok Tawie
Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah speaks to reporters July 25, 2019. ― Picture by Sulok Tawie

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KUCHING, Aug 17 — Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah stressed today that whoever is appointed to be the new prime minister must be mindful of the special rights of Sarawak and Sabah as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

He said the new prime minister must ensure that those specific rights, which have been diminished over the last 58 years, are protected.

“We can see that during the last 18 months, when Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin was the prime minister, he was sympathetic to us.

“We have managed to get back quite a number of those rights from Putrajaya,” Karim, who is also the state Tourism, Arts and Culture minister, said at a press conference to announce the programme of the state-level National Day celebration on August 31.

He, however, stressed that he does not personally look at the appointment of the new prime minister from Sarawak’s perspective only.

“Whoever is appointed to hold the office, he is like a father to all of us and must protect all the states under his administration equally,” he said.

Abdul Karim, who is a lawyer by training, said the appointment of the prime minister is at the discretion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to replace Muhyiddin who resigned from the post yesterday after failing to get the majority support from Members of Parliament.

“Whoever is that person, he could be the new leader or the past leader or even Muhyiddin himself.

“If all agree with him, I am confident that there is nothing wrong for him to be the prime minister again,” Abdul Karim said.

Separately, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing urged MPs to get their act together and put the national interest above theirs by picking the new prime minister as soon as possible.

He said Malaysia will not only become a failed, but a destroyed state lying in the shambles of a political mess if the MPs do not decide quickly who among them should become prime minister.

“While we are at war with Covid-19 pandemic that has killed killed hundreds and caused thousands of untold miseries among Malaysian, the army (federal administration) is in disarray without its commander-in-chief (prime minister),” Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.

He said the MPs, together with the people, must put their feet firmly on the ground and fight the war against the deadly virus.

He said instead they start shooting at each other and worse still throwing out the “commander-in-chief” in the midst of the war, and without naming a successor.

“I am, however, ever an optimist. Malaysia can rise above the ashes, if we throw racism, religious bigotry and unfairness into the drain, start putting square pegs into square holes,” he said.

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