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Monday, June 12, 2017

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.
"In Malay, setahun jagung means the corn that grows in less than three months. I am not wrong to call Abdul Karim (photo) a 'setahun jagung' as he was only appointed last month," Nazri added.
Abdul Karim, who has been the Asajaya assemblyperson since the 2011 state election, was promoted from assistant minister to full minister, in the same portfolio, on May 7 in Sarawak state cabinet reshuffle.
Abdul Karim had urged Putrajaya to defer the hotel tax, which he said was imposed without any consultation with the state government.
The new tourism tax, which will see consumers paying up to RM20 more for a hotel room per night, is due to come into effect on Aug 1, according to the Royal Malaysian Customs.
Nazri said the federal government had gone through the consultation process, with the matter being discussed in the cabinet and debated in Parliament.
'Not only S'wakians can be sensitive'
"If Abdul Karim said that Sarawak was not being consulted, then what was Fadillah doing in the cabinet? Fadillah better know his facts also, because his friend Abdul Karim thinks he is not doing his job," he said.
"There are 25 Sarawak BN lawmakers in the Dewan Rakyat," Nazri added.
"Karim is a Sarawak BN minister and he should have said he would seek clarification from the federal minister, instead of attacking me. He said I took away the right of the state and he got his facts all wrong. I never did that."
The Padang Rengas MP added that not only Sarawakians could be sensitive over such a statement, people from the peninsula, too, could harbour sensitive feelings.
"Why can't he just ask me? He is not a DAP minister," the Umno supreme council member said.

Commenting further, he questioned why Abdul Karim had to bring the whole state into a spat between two politicians.
"This is a spat between me and him. Why does he want to bring the whole state into this? I am a jantan (man), okay? Just let him reply. Be a man and stand up. I want Abdul Karim to reply me.
"Don't be a coward to drag everyone in. You stand up to fight for yourself," Nazri stressed.- Mkini

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