Adenan apologises for ‘Iban wife’ joke

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PETALING JAYA: Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem has apologised for joking that Prime Minister Najib Razak get himself an Iban wife, The Star Online reported today.

According to the report, Adenan also explained it was nothing more than a joke, made in a light-hearted manner.

“Even the Prime Minister himself was laughing. He knew it was meant as a joke.

“But if some people are offended by it, I am sorry and I tender my apology,” he said.

Last week, during an event, Adenan, speaking in a mixture of Iban and Bahasa Sarawak, made the joke when praising Najib for his frequent visits to the state.

“Thank you, all corners of Sarawak you (Najib) have been to. The only thing left is that he can’t speak Iban yet. He can speak Bahasa Malaysia, English but not Iban. I have advised him if he wants to find a new wife, go find an Iban. I’m just kidding.”

The joke resulted in mixed reactions from the people, with some quarters including members of the Opposition and the Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association taking offence to it, saying Adenan should not have made such a statement even if it was intended as a joke.

The association’s Secretary Bill Kayong called on Adenan to retract the statement and apologise, which the chief minister humbly did later.