TOURISM and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz has lashed out at cabinet colleague Abdul Rahman Dahlan in the continuing spat over the controversial tourism tax.
Rahman earlier sought to defend Sarawak minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, whom Nazri labeled a “rookie”, and said Karim is an experienced politician even though he is a new state minister.
In response, Nazri said Rahman is new as well and should just leave him to settle the dispute with Karim, who is in charge of tourism in Sarawak.
“He (Rahman) is a new minister. He held one post and was changed to another not long after. So i think he better stay out and let me settle this with Karim.
He also said if Karim was a seasoned politician then he should have sought clarification on the tourism tax before attacking the federal government.
Rahman, who is the MP for Sabah’s Kota Belud, tweeted that federal ministers should be more accommodating to their state counterparts or it will complicate efforts to explain the tax.
The tourism tax, which is set to be in effect on July 1, has drawn flak from both government and opposition lawmakers, especially from those in Sabah and Sarawak.
Karim had called on the federal government to defer the tax, but Nazri swiped at him in response, saying that he didn’t understand the tax and the potential benefits it would bring, and also called him a “samseng”.
In response, Karim said he is not cowed by Nazri’s remark, which he said was an arrogant and uncouth response and that the tax was bulldozed through without consultation with state players.