15 June 2017
DPM: Tourism tax issue is now settled
PUTRAJAYA: The spat over the tourism tax between Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and the Sarawak and Sabah governments is now resolved, says Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the issue was brought up during the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, and it was agreed that no more should be said of the matter.
“The Prime Minister chaired the Cabinet meeting and we decided that the issue is resolved, and that no more statements should be made by federal or state leaders.
“I personally met the chief ministers of Sarawak and Sabah on Wednesday. This chapter is closed so let’s open a new one,” he said at a press conference here.
Dr Ahmad Zahid confirmed that the tourism tax will be implemented, adding that the promotion of tourism requires funds.
However, he did not say how this would affect Sarawak’s decision to quit the Malaysian Tourism Board.
13 June 2017
Nazri: I called him gangster because I was upset
KUCHING: Labelling himself pro-Sarawak, Federal Minister of Tourism and Culture Nazri Abdul Aziz said he had used harsh words against Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah because he was upset.
The federal minister had called Karim a “gangster” and a greenhorn in ministerial duties after Karim criticised Nazri and his ministry over the tourism tax issue.
Nazri told the Borneo Post: “When he accused me of eroding Sarawak rights, it was very hurtful. He shot me from the hip.
“So when I do all these to help in promoting Sarawak, it upsets me when I get accused of eroding Sarawak’s powers. This is not true. That’s not my intention. He got it all wrong.”
Nazri has come under attack from BN politicians for calling Karim “gangster” and “ignorant”. PBB Youth chief Fadillah Yusof said Nazri had acted “inappropriately” while Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said Nazri could have been more diplomatic.
Nazri said he had no personal problem with Karim and that his public outbursts were ‘normal things’ in the course of reacting to issues.
“I wish Karim had come and seen me to seek clarification first. First of all he talked about the Malaysia Agreement when the issue is nothing about eroding rights of Sarawak. I am a Malaysian and pro-Sarawak.”
12 June 2017
Rahman Dahlan: ‘Disagreements on hotel tax should be handled with more tact’
Cabinet ministers in Putrajaya should be a bit more accommodative of concerns emanating from Sabah and Sarawak, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
This followed Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz’s barrage of insults aimed at his Sarawakian counterpart Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah for seeking a deferment of Putrajaya’s new hotel tax.
Without naming Mohamed Nazri, Abdul Rahman said that disagreements on the tax should be handled with a bit more tact.
“Federal ministers can certainly be more accommodative when dealing with genuine questions & concerns from leaders in Sabah and Sarawak.
“The tourism tax can be justified and explained. But the spat between Sabah and Sarawakian leaders with the culture and tourism ministry is making efforts harder,” wrote Abdul Rahman on Twitter.
According to Abdul Rahman, Abdul Karim may be a new member of Sarawak’s executive, but he was no greenhorn.
“He is undoubtedly a very seasoned Sarawak politician with many years as a lawmaker,” said Abdul Rahman.
Nazri: I don’t care what Fadillah says about hotel tax row
Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz does not care what his critic, BN Youth chief Fadillah Yusof, has said about him over hotel tax spat between him and his Sarawak counterpart Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
“I don’t care what the Sarawak BN Youth said. I don’t care what Fadillah said and I don’t care about him,” Nazri told Malaysiakini when contacted today.
Fadillah, who is also works minister, said Nazri was not portraying the spirit of BN by hurling an insult at Abdul Karim by calling the latter setahun jagung (immature).
In his response, Nazri said Abdul Karim had first insulted him by asking Putrajaya to respect the Malaysia Agreement 1963, as though implying the federal government ignored the rights of Sarawakians.
“He can insult me, but I cannot insult him? He insulted me, and I have a right to insult him back,” he said.
Sarawak withdraws participation in Malaysia Tourism Board http://bit.ly/2sdBelN
Life goes on, says Nazri after Sarawak exit from tourism board
PETALING JAYA: Nazri Aziz today downplayed the Sarawak government’s decision to withdraw from the Malaysia Tourism Board, saying “life will go on as usual” and that it would not affect the state’s tourism.
“I can always replace them with someone else,” Nazri told FMT, a day after he lashed out at his Sarawak counterpart Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah for questioning a new tourism tax which kicks in next month.
Following this, the state government today announced it was withdrawing from MTB, Putrajaya’s agency to promote the tourism industry.
“I will continue to promote Sarawak with or without their representatives. That’s what I’ve been doing all this while,” said Nazri.
Sarawak’s announcement comes as tensions mount over Nazri’s move to push ahead with the new tourism tax, which could see hotels nationwide forced to charge between RM2.50 and RM20 per night.
“The state government deems that the participation of its representatives in Tourism Malaysia is not necessary as this is duplicating the role and functions of the Sarawak Tourism Promotion Board,” the Chief Minister’s Office said today.
Karim had said the new tax was an example of the federal government imposing tax laws in Sarawak without consultation, drawing strong reaction from Nazri.
S’wak withdraws from Tourism Malaysia after tax spat
The Sarawak government has withdrawn its representative from the Putrajaya’s Malaysia Tourism Board with immediate effect, according to the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office.
This follows the barrage of insults from Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz on his Sarawak counterpart Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who opposed a new tax on hotels.
However, the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office made no mention of Nazri’s row with Abdul Karim and went on to state that Sarawak already had a Tourism Promotion Board.
“The state government deems that the participation of its representatives in Tourism Malaysia is not necessary as this is duplicating the role and function of the Sarawak Tourism Promotion Board,” its statement says.
When contacted, Nazri said the state government’s decision had nothing to do with him and Abdul Karim.
“I agree with that (decision). I already withdrew the (state) tourism director and closed down Tourism Malaysia’s office (in Sarawak) earlier this year to cut costs,” he told Malaysiakini.
“I am grateful that the state government understands what I did by withdrawing its representative. What it did is in line with what I did.”
However, Nazri vowed that his ministry would continue to promote Sarawak’s tourism sector as the state was part of Malaysia.
S’wak BN Youth condemns ‘samseng’ Nazri over ‘jagung’ insult
Sarawak BN Youth has condemned Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz for hurling insults at a Sarawakian minister over the controversial new tax on hotels.
In a statement today, Sarawak BN Youth chief Fadillah Yusof said Nazri’s dressing down of state Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah yesterday was not done in the BN spirit.
“The act of labelling the Sarawak minister as setahun jagung (greenhorn) and a child is an insult to Abdul Karim, who has been given the state leadership’s trust to lead the ministry,” Fadillah said.
11 June 2017
Tourism tax: Nazri ticks off ‘rookie’ S’wak minister
Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz today gave Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah a piece of his mind after the latter urged the federal government to defer the implementation of the new tourism tax.
Karim had cited the Malaysia Agreement in asking that the tax be deferred in Sabah and Sarawak.
Mohamed Nazri however said that Karim did not understand the crux of the matter when the latter argued that such a tax should be a state matter.
“There’s no need for him to mention about the (Malaysia Agreement). We know (what we are doing),” Nazri told reporters at a buka puasa event at Dataran Merdeka.
Stressing that the new tax was part of the federal list, Nazri said Putrajaya decided to make it a federal government tax to avoid confusion.
“It is not about seizing Sarawak’s rights when it has become a federal tax.
“He (Karim) is a new minister, he is a Barisan Nasional minister, he should not be showing his arrogance.
“He can just meet me, I’m also a BN minister. (And) I have been a minister for many years.
“You are still new. Setahun jagung (still immature). You shouldn’t say much,” said Nazri.