KUCHING: Whoever forms the next government after the 15th general election, Sabah and Sarawak must not be excluded in the formation of the Malaysia Cabinet, said Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
The Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president said Sabah and Sarawak cannot be put aside in the federal politics.
“We (Sarawak) play a very big role… We contribute so much to the national coffer,” he said in a press conference after officiating at the ‘Kasih Belia Ramadan’ programme at the Waterfront Hotel here yesterday (Apr 16).
“Personally, I believe that whoever is going to form the government, whether its Pakatan Harapan (PH), Perikatan Nasional (PN) or Barisan Nasional (BN), Sabah and Sarawak have to be accommodated.
“For the sake of the Malaysia spirit and also to ensure that the spirit of Malaysia is maintained. This is because Malaysia is formed by three regions – Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya.
“And if Sarawak is not given to play an important role in the Malaysia Cabinet, it is not going to help,” he pointed out.
To a question on UMNO Supreme Council in naming its vice president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the Prime Minister candidate in the 15th general election, Abdul Karim described that such decision showed rationality in the party.
“In the past, if UMNO had the majority in Parliament, then automatically the president would be chosen as the Prime Minister. But this has changed after the PN took over the government. The prime minister is from the party, and does not hold the post as the president.
“So, UMNO Supreme Council has decided a few days ago where Ismail Sabri has been named as the candidate for the prime minister after the GE 15, and this indicates a new and healthy development,” he said.
When asked if a deputy prime minister’s (DPM) post be given to a Sabahan or Sarawakian, Abdul Karim said that such post should be considered.
“In my personal opinion, it should be considered that the region of Sabah and Sarawak has a high position in the Malaysian administration.
“And if it is not for the prime minister’s post, then it can be two DPM, or they can hold the post by turn,” he said.
Meanwhile, a total of 105 needy youth received a contribution of RM200 each during the programme to bring cheer in conjunction with the upcoming Hari Raya celebration.