Sarawak MTUC leader, state minister trade insults over job scams

Andrew Lo (left) says Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah should not hurl accusations against Sarawak MTUC.

PETALING JAYA: A Sarawak MTUC leader has labelled a state minister “idiotic” for suggesting it is blaming the state government for people falling prey to job scams in its push for a human resource ministry to be set up.

Yesterday, state Tourism Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak MTUC secretary Andrew Lo was being stupid to blame the state government for the work of con artists.

Karim had said this when dismissing a call to set up a state human resource ministry, saying it would not bring an end to cheating cases.

“Is he (Lo) saying there will not be any job scam involving Sarawakians if a human resource portfolio is set up in the state Cabinet?

“It’s like saying there will be no more crimes if we have a police force,” Karim was quoted as saying.

But today, Lo said it was “idiotic” for an experienced state leader to conclude that MTUC is blaming the state government for the job scams.

“Any logical person will understand that what MTUC is saying is that the lack of decent jobs has caused Sarawakians to seek jobs outside, thereby exposing them to the risk of being conned,” he said in a statement.

He admitted that while a human resource ministry will not end foreign job scams, it would reduce the need for people to seek outside jobs as it will look into the human capital needs of the state.

He also took to task Karim’s comparison between crimes and the police force, asking: “By that logic, Karim is saying that since there are still crimes, the police are not needed and should be disbanded?”

Lo said the continued “ultra-defensive response” by PBB leaders — Karim is a party vice-president — “is an admission that there is a lack of decent jobs in Sarawak”.

A responsible person, he said, would devise strategies, through a human resource ministry, to reduce instances of Sarawakians being scammed when looking for jobs overseas.

Lo had previously slammed the state government for its failure to create suitable jobs, after the latest case of Sarawakians being cheated overseas.

He said Sarawakians had been seeking better opportunities in the peninsula, Singapore and other countries, but many of them had been cheated by syndicates promising lucrative jobs.