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Monday, June 12, 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.
Abdul Karim is a seasoned lawmaker
Yesterday, Mohamed Nazri had ridiculed Abdul Karim for using the Malaysia Agreement 1963 as an argument against the new hotel tax, which can go up to RM20 per room a night. 
Mohamed Nazri had called Abdul Karim "setahun jagung" (greenhorn) who was trying to be a "samseng" (thug). Sarawak BN Youth had regarded these terms as insults.
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.
Even Abdul Rahman is 'new'
While agreeing with Abdul Rahman, Mohamed Nazri said Abdul Karim was responsible for igniting the spat.
"If he is a seasoned politician, then the first thing he should have done was to contact me and ask me about the tourism tax. But he didn't, so I am right to say he is a rookie and an inexperienced new minister.
"He maybe a seasoned politician, but he is a rookie minister," Mohamed Nazri told Malaysiakini.
"I agree with Abdul Rahman that it could have been resolved if he had called me, but he chose to whack the federal government. So, I am not at fault, Abdul Karim was at fault."

Mohamed Nazri argued that if Abdul Karim have approached him, then he would have been more accommodative.
"So, Abdul Rahman, I think he is also a new minister. He is an East Malaysian, he cannot be neutral about this issue. I advise him to lay off.
"He is relatively to me a new minister. He might feel it also. He is affected because he is a new minister. If he cannot be neutral, it is better to keep such comments to himself," he added. -Mkini

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