KUCHING: Chief Political Secretary to the Chief Minister YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah is a popular figure among the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) youth members who is regarded as a dynamic leader.
In fact many of the party youth members adore him and would have no hesitation at all to vote him for the PBB Youth Chief post if he was allowed by the party president Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to contest against the incumbent YB Fadillah Yusuf who is the Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innvoation.
Many youth leaders just could not forget the PBB Jelajah Sarawak which was held in 2005 when YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was the deputy Youth Chief.
Although the tour was only a waste of money for the party (with the cost of about RM100,000 which only one or two member pocketed huge portion of the money) because only a handful of youth members were really involved in the tour from day One, many youth members, especially those who were taking part in the tour, regarded this tour as the best event ever done by the PBB Youth.
Objectively, the tour cost didn’t justify the result because those who involved represented a small percentage of the total number of PBB youth in the state.
Nevertheless, the tour had managed to elevate YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah’s status in the eyes of the youth members.
However, not many the party youth members really know the true character of YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who seems to be an easy-going leader - who is easily approached for assistance.
They could not be blamed for being ignorant because they are not a threat to YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
As a matter of fact, YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah needs to be cosy with them because they are his passport to higher position in the party.
And they do not need to know his dirty works which he did for his political master Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar who is also the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker.
While his boss’ job was mainly to ‘take care’ of the party president Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah’s job was on the ground meeting party members at the branch level scheming against the incumbent branch chairmen.
He would look out for discontented or ambitious members who could be controlled by him.
As a man who always willing to lend his ears listening to problems, it was not difficult for him to find these group of party members.
When he offered his assistance to help, little did these members know that YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was actually trying to help himself as well as Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar in recruiting indebted lieutenants or soldiers for their future battles.
Both YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar would look out for the loop holes that could help these rebellious members to revolt against the incumbents.
At the same time, they must come to a conclusion that the numbers of the rebellious members must be sufficient enough to overthrow the incumbents; and the possible repercussions from the ruckus were manageable, i.e. Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud could be convinced to believe that those who were making loud noises about their defeat were actually the sore losers who had the support from the minority.
They were quite bold when they tried to help the PBB Deputy Secretary General YB Abu Seman Jahwie to wrest the chairmanship of Jemoreng from the Igan Member of Parliament Datuk Abdul Wahab Dollah.
However, both of them underestimated Datuk Abdul Wahab Dollah’s tenacity to keep the chairmanship.
They also underestimated Datuk Abdul Wahab Dollah’s ability to get across his messages to Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud as to explain the ‘true’ situation (at least from the perspective of Datuk Abdul Wahab Dollah).
They thought that Datuk Abdul Wahab Dollah was at his weakest point after years being ignored by Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
They did a blunder in the case of Jemoreng but it didn’t stop them from going after other branches especially those whose incumbents were not elected representatives.
Although these chairmen were not elected representatives, they just didn’t want to take the risk of miscalculating their importance in accomplishing their goal(s).
Moreover, these indebted branch chairmen could be recommended to Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud as the potential candidates to replace the existing elected representatives, if the opportunities presented themselves.
But instead of waiting for the opportunities to come to knock the door, they tried to create the conducive situation that would produce the opportunities.
YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah used his pen to create distorted information about many elected representatives, to name a few, such as the Assistant Minister of Industrial Development (Promotion and Development of Industrial Estates) Dr Abang Drauf Abg Zen and Telang Usang assemblyman YB Lihan Jok.
He purposely wrote negative reports – which were later submitted to Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud - about these elected representatives hoping that the party president would believe the reports and subsequently decided to get replacements for the elected representatives who were said fail to perform their ‘basic’ duty to serve the rakyat in their capacities as the rakyat representatives.
YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, however, didn’t write any negative comments on Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar although he knew very well that his boss might be the laziest elected representative in Sarawak.
And he also made sure that he himself would write minutes of meetings which he and other political secretaries were discussing about information on elected representatives who were not in his good book.
There were many instances when other political secretaries were surprised to see the minutes of the earlier meetings were different from what transpired during the meetings.
Both YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and his boss Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar were hoping that Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud would believe their stories and ask for their recommendations on the candidates to replace the non-performing or unpopular elected representatives in the coming state election.
Their plan worked well for the past few years but sadly the recent development in the politics has caused them to change their strategy, and to the certain extent, their goal to be the king maker of the Sarawak politics.
Of course, based in the original plan, Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar is to be crowned as the new Chief Minister by virtue of having the most votes in the PBB caucus.
At the rate things are going now, Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar could kiss the Chief Minister crown good bye (and to the certain extent the Semop seat).
However, this is only going to be elaborated in details in future articles of different titles.
p/s Also read Asfia and his gandiose plan (Part 1 of 2).