Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Adenan says sorry over 'Najib should get Iban wife' remark

Tan Sri Adenan Satem has apologised if his remark telling the Prime Minister to get an Iban wife offended anyone.

The Sarawak Chief Minister said it was just a joke and 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 here on Tuesday.

At the launching ceremony of the "Inclusive Malaysia, A Digital Nation" in Kuching last Saturday, Adenan had jokingly said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should get an Iban wife.

Speaking in a mixture of Iban and Bahasa Sarawak, the Chief Minister was praising Najib for making frequent visits to the state, when he quipped: "Thank you, all corners of Sarawak, you 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."

Reaction to the joke had been mixed, with some finding it made in goodwill and others expressing unease.

On Monday, the Sarawak Dayak Association said it was an inappropriate statement for a Chief Minister to make, and that some had taken it as an insult.

"If no one from the community reacts negatively to his statement, then he might assume that all Ibans agree with his statement, even if it was just a joke for him," said its secretary Bill Kayong.

"He should not have made the statement at an official function.

"He should concede that it was a mistake, which some have considered an insult.

"The honourable CM should take back the statement and apologise," Kayong added.

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