PETALING JAYA: Sarawakians have been urged not to make an issue of contrasting remarks by state leaders about Palestinian refugees and whether they would be sent to Sarawak.
The remarks were made by Alexander Nanta Linggi and Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, both of whom are leaders of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), the dominant party in the state’s ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak.
Nanta, who is PBB secretary-general, said his remarks about the possibility of Malaysia taking in Palestinian refugees should not be blown out of proportion. He denied there was a rift between him and Karim, who is a PBB vice-president.
Karim had stated earlier that Nanta and a coalition of NGOs should not jump the gun over whether Palestinian refugees could come to Malaysia, after Nanta had supported the views of the NGOs against Palestinian refugees being sent to Sarawak.
Karim said the federal government had not made any decision on the matter. Earlier today, he said any move to resettle Palestinian refugees in Malaysia should be limited to Peninsular Malaysia and not involve Sarawak.
In the wake of the airing of views, Karim visited Nanta at his home today, accompanied by PBB deputy secretary-general Ibrahim Baki, according to The Borneo Post.
Nanta described his relationship with Karim as that of brothers, and said the differences of opinion should “not lead to anything serious”. He said there was no need to “blow up the issue” by holding a protest gathering against Karim. A gathering planned for tomorrow had been cancelled on police advice.
Nanta said he and Karim “did not want this to blow up” and had no intention to jeopardise the stability of the party or that of the state government, or disrupt racial harmony in Sarawak.