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Monday, June 12, 2017

Baru: Nazri's remarks reek of condescension



Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian described Tourism Minister Nazri Aziz's dismissive remarks aimed at his state counterpart, Abdul Karim Hamzah, on the newfangled tourism tax as a classic reflection of BN's "neo-colonial attitude towards Sarawak".
“I doubt anyone will soon top Nazri's comments in its arrogance, insolence, and condescension in addressing an elected representative in Sarawak on a matter of no small concern to the state and even the nation,” commented the human rights lawyer.
“We know the federal minister to be a loose cannon and, on occasion, a vent for inconvenient truths about his party, his coalition and the state of the nation,” observed the PKR state assemblyperson for Ba Ke'lalan.
“All that is welcome, but in the case of his dismissive remarks about Karim's dissent over the federal government's tourism tax, he has pulled out all stops and assumed the airs of an imperious colonial overlord,” said Baru, in remarks to Malaysiakini.
Karim, in an interview with the Borneo Post, had called the tourism tax, passed by Parliament at its last session in March-April, an example of taxation sans consultation imposed on Sarawak.
For his supposed impudence, Karim was set upon by Nazri who unleashed a stream of vitriol that portrayed the junior state minister as anything from a dilettante to an ignoramus.
“Nazri has unwittingly reflected the federal BN's real attitude towards Sarawak which is that we are their wards and they are the overlords,” said Baru.
When it is imposed from July 1, the tourism tax will see guests pay up to RM20 more a day for a hotel room in Malaysia.
Hoteliers and tourism industry players have complained that the tax will have a shriveling impact on the industry.
Baru recalled that the late chief minister of Sarawak, Adnan Satem, had once dismissed the effects of the 1MDB controversy in the state.
“Adnan had said that Sarawakians cannot relate to 1MDB or understand its effects on them,” he said.

“I don't think this tourism tax would have come to pass if we had not lost up to RM50 billion on that misbegotten venture,” surmised Baru.
“In refusing to face up to the reality of the losses to the national treasury and its consequences in unjust taxes on people who don't deserve them, Nazri has resorted to drivel and vitriol.
“He should apologise to Karim, otherwise Sarawakians should react through the ballot box at the general election,” asserted Baru. - Mkini

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