Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Only Najib, not Nazri, can defer tourism tax implementation - Karim

June 28, 2017

KUCHING: Only Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, has the right to defer the date for the implementation of the tourism tax, said Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Therefore, Abdul Karim said, it is not for federal Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz to announce the deferral date for implementation of the tourism tax.

“The right to defer the date (for the implementation of tourism tax) is on the Prime Minister in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and not the Minister of Tourism and Culture who earlier claimed that the enforcement of the tourism tax is on July 1 and now suddenly deferring it to Aug 1.

“We must remember that it was not the Ministry of Finance or the Prime Minister who came up with the date July 1.

“Under the Tourism Tax Act, the minister referred to is the Minister of Finance and he has the power to exempt or defer (the implementation of tourism tax). The Minister of Finance is our Prime Minister,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Karim's jubilance over stunning feat by Jonathan and Nixson

June 28, 2017

KUCHING: Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was jubilant over the stunning feat accomplished by state sprinters Jonathan Nyepa and Nixson Kennedy in the 100m final at the Korea Open Athletics Championships in Jeongseon, Gangwon-do yesterday.

File photo of Jonathan (right) as he finishes just behind Khairul at the 2016 Sukma in Sarawak.
“I hope they will improve further as they get more foreign exposure. 

"I also hope all Malaysians will give them their support so as to push their determination and morale,” he said as quoted by TheBorneoPost today.

Minimal impact on tourist arrivals, Abdul Karim says of tourism tax

June 28, 2017

SIBU: The implementation of tourism tax will have minimal impact on the number of tourists coming to Sarawak, says Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He was asked if the state would still be able to achieve the target of receiving five million tourists this year with the implementation of the new tax.

“Most of the tourists are domestic tourists as well as tourists from the neighbouring countries and majority of them do not stay in four or five star hotels. 

"Though it does affect their budget slightly, I believe it will not deter them from coming,” Abdul Karim told The Borneo Post yesterday.

The Asajaya assemblyman said what Sarawak needs to do is to upgrade and introduce more tourism packages and places of interest as well as more promotions.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

‘Cancellation of trips by Chinese tourists alarming’

June 27, 2017


KUCHING: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah described the cancellation of trips by 3,000 Chinese tourists to Malaysia and choosing Thailand as their preferred destination as alarming.

“This is what Malaysian Association of Hotels has informed me too and the reason why I wanted to have the enforcement date deferred and not to rush through the tourism tax. 

I will hold on temporarily,” he said when reacting to a front page article quoting Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (Maceos) acting vice-president Gracie Geikie as saying that these tourists had cancelled their plans because they had to pay tourism tax of about RM100,000.

Abdul Karim said next week he would be going to Sabah for finer deliberation on a joint approach with the state on the controversial tax.

“I fully agree with what the Chief Minister (Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg) has said yesterday (June 25). 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Sarawak to set up Tourist Court soon, says Abd Karim

June 24, 2017

Abang Wahap (left) presents a souvenir to Abdul Karim while Snowdan (third right) and Ik Pahon (second right) look on.
KUCHING: The state hopes to set up a Tourist Court to quickly solve criminal cases involving tourists in Sarawak.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said as of now most of cases involving tourists could not be solved quickly and were therefore thrown out of court because the tourists would not appear again in court as they had already gone home.

“I don’t want to hear of tourists being robbed and a subsequent court case not being solved quickly. 

"That is why we will set up a Tourist Court soon to quickly solve cases involving tourists,” he said at a special meeting with Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) yesterday.

He added that when a (crime) case happened, all evidence and proofs regarding the incident would be taken and used in court. The victim (tourist) need not return here.

Common stand on tourism tax

June 24, 2017

Abdul Karim says state welcomes Sabah’s invitation to deliberate on some pertinent issues of the Tourism Act

KUCHING: Sarawak and Sabah have been discussing a joint approach to the tourism tax.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah confirmed tourism officers from Sabah and Sarawak met here last week with the Attorney-General of both states.

“We will look at this from a common stand. 

I agree with (Sabah Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Panglima) Masidi (Manjun) that the Act should be refined. We will approach it together,” he said after a special meeting with the Kuching North City Commission yesterday.

Abdul Karim said he welcomes Masidi’s invitation for a joint Sabah-Sarawak tourism tax memorandum.

Jemputan Rumah Terbuka 2017


Friday, 23 June 2017

Directly to state’s coffers

June 23, 2017

State says tourism tax inevitable but wants safeguard revenue collected is used to promote local tourism

Karim (right) addresses the media as Ik Pahon looks on.

KUCHING: The implementation of tourism tax is unavoidable since it has already been passed in Parliament, and Sarawak will abide by it.

However, the state wants its share of nationwide revenue from tourism tax collection to be channelled straight to the state government and not diverted elsewhere.

Stating this yesterday, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak wants a win-win formula for the collection and distribution of the tax. 

The state’s stand was communicated to the federal government during a recent meeting between Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He disclosed that based on the outcome of that meeting, which took place few days ago, Najib has assured the tourism tax collection will be distributed among the three regions of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2017


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Okay with tourism tax but collection must go to Sarawak Government

June 22, 2017


Sarawak Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the state government will now accept the implementation of the tourism tax which will see customers being charged between RM2.50 to RM20 per hotel room per night depending on the ratings.

However, Abdul Karim said the state government wants a share of the tax to be channelled to Sarawak.

“We want our share from the tourism tax collection to go straight to the state government and not be channelled through other agencies or any other means.

Channel tax collection back to Sarawak, Abdul Karim says of tourism tax

June 22, 2017

Karim (right) addresses the media as Ik Pahon looks on.

KUCHING: Sarawak accepts the implementation of the tourism tax, but it wants its share of tax collected to be channelled straight to the state government, and not diverted elsewhere.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said this stand has been communicated to the federal government during a recent meeting between Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said based on the outcome of the meeting, the Prime Minister has assured that funds from the tourism tax collection would be distributed between the peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak.

“We want our share from the tourism tax collection to go straight to the state government and not be channeled through other agencies or any other means. 

"This will be a win-win formula, since the allocation will hopefully bring benefit to Sarawak in terms of promoting tourism.

Over 700 athletes for Malaysian International Open Masters

June 22, 2017

Karim (second right) with (from left) Sivapragasam, Snowdan and Ong at the press conference yesterday.
KUCHING: Sarawak will host the 31st Malaysian International Open Masters Athletics Championship at the Sarawak Stadium in Petra Jaya from July 22 to 23.

More than 700 veteran athletes including Sarawak’s ‘Flying Dayak’ Watson Nyambek, who once held the national 100m record of 10.30s, will be competing in the event held for the first time in the state.

“Currently, we have received the confirmation from 520 athletes outside Sarawak and they are from eight countries including host Malaysia (Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia), Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Brunei.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Outcome of Pujut rep’s case proves democracy still works — Abdul Karim

June 18, 2017

KUCHING: The High Court’s decision to reinstate Dr Ting Tiong Choon as Pujut assemblyman clearly shows that democracy is working in the country, says Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

According to him, the verdict by the High Court judge serves to dispel the long-time claim by the opposition that all ‘organs’ in the government are biased.

“It (the High Court’s decision) shows that democracy is working in Malaysia, despite the claim by the opposition all these years that that all ‘organs’ in the government are biased,” he said yesterday in response to the decision delivered by High Court Judge Datuk Douglas Christo Primus Sikayun, stating that Dr Ting is not disqualified as a member of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN); hence, he remains as the assemblyman for Pujut.

However, Abdul Karim pointed out that the ball is now in at the Home Ministry (KDN)’s court with regard to the status of a Malaysian who applied for and obtained citizenship of another country.

He also questioned the validity of one’s Malaysian citizenship once that person has a citizenship of another country – whether it stays valid or is automatically terminated.

Presence of Sabah VIPs at state ministry event raises speculations among newsmen

June 18, 2017

Abdul Karim (fourth left) in a photo-call with (from right) Rusmadi, Ik Pahon, Abdul Aziz, Snowdan, Lee and other guests at the ‘buka puasa’.
KUCHING: The hosting of an event here by a state ministry has triggered some sort of speculation among the members of the press, in that three authoritative figures from Sabah were among the VIP guests there on Friday.

Sabah Attorney-General Datuk Mariyati Rober, Sabah Tourism Ministry permanent secretary Datu Rusmadi Sulai and Sabah Tourism Board general manager Gordon Yap were seen sitting together with Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at the function.

Abdul Karim, in his speech for the ‘Integrity Day 2017’ held for staff members of his ministry at the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex here, said the members of the media were quick to notice the presence of the Sabahans and had earlier contacted him directly for comments.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Zurich signs on as CSR partner of RWMF 2017

June 15, 2017

Abdul Karim (third left) thanking Smith (second right) during the ceremony as STB chairman Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz (second left), STB acting CEO Mary Wan Mering (left) and STB events director Angelina Patricia Bateman look on yesterday.

KUCHING: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) has announced that Zurich Insurance Malaysia Bhd (ZIMB) and Zurich Takaful Malaysia Bhd (ZTMB) have become a corporate social responsibility (CSR) partner with the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2017.

In a mock cheque handing over ceremony between ZIMB chief executive officer Philip Smith and Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah yesterday, it was stated that Zurich Malaysia is sponsoring a total of RM200,000 to RWMF 2017.

The RWMF has taken new steps this year, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary, to promote health and wellness through physical activities and meditation.

Zurich Malaysia has an ongoing CSR programme ‘Eat Right to Play Right’ which utilises football as a platform to educate children on nutrition while instilling self-discipline and sportsmanship.

Smith, who is also executive director of ZTMB, said Zurich Malaysia is delighted to be associated with this very important festival, particularly on the occasion on its 20th anniversary.


‘MTB still responsible for promoting Sarawak’

June 15, 2017



KUCHING: Malaysia Tourism Board (MTB) still has the responsibility to promote Sarawak even after the state government has decided to withdraw the participation of its representative in the MTB, said Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“The way I see it, Tourism Malaysia (MTB) has got the responsibility to promote all the states. Just because we have taken out our representative from Tourism Malaysia, doesn’t mean they don’t need to promote Sarawak anymore.

“We are still a part of Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia has got to look after it (promoting Sarawak). It is just that we have Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) which is doing the exact same role like what Tourism Malaysia is doing.

“So that is why we do not want this duplication. Might as well we just focus on our own STB to do all this promotion,” he said after receiving a mock cheque from Zurich Insurance Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Philip Smith during a ceremony here yesterday.

In a statement announcing the state government’s decision to withdraw the participation of its representative in MTB, the Chief Minister’s Office had said the state government deemed that the participation of its representative in MTB is unnecessary as it duplicates the roles and functions of STB.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Unfair or not, Sarawak subject to tourism tax

June 14, 2017


Sarawak minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, however, says the manner surrounding the implementation of the tax is unfair.

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has conceded that come July 1, the state, too, will be subjected to the new tourism tax, despite his calls for it to be deferred.

This, said the Sarawak tourism, arts, culture, youth and sports minister,was because taxation powers rested with the Federal Government, not the state.

However, he insisted that the manner surrounding the implementation of the tax was unfair.

“The way I see it, and if you read the Tourism Tax Act 2017, come July 1, hotels nationwide, including Sarawak, will have to register for the tax.

“If they don’t register within 30 days, they will be penalised. This is something we personally feel is not fair.

SEA Games torch on final leg of Sarawak tour

June 14, 2017

Abdul Karim (front row, fifth right), Snowdan and Hasidah (front row, third right) with participants in a group photo. 
KUCHING: Around 500 participants took part in the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games torch run which was flagged off at the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex yesterday.

They were led by Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Snowdan Lawan, who was also the torch bearer.

From the old DUN Complex, the group made their way across the Sarawak River on boat towards Kuching Waterfront where Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was on hand to receive the torch from Snowdan.

Karim: I don't blame State BN MPs

June 14, 2017, Wednesday


Abdul Karim speaks to reporters.


KUCHING: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah does not blame state Barisan Nasional MPs for not participating in the Tourism Tax Bill debate as the debate was carried out in the wee hours of the morning.

He also said the Bill was the last to be debated that day out of six Bills scheduled in the Parliamentary Sitting’s Order of the Day.

“We must understand and look at it from a point of view that the Bill was the last to be tabled in the Parliament Sitting and if I’m not mistaken, it was tabled around 1am and ended around 4am.

“In my opinion, the hours are regarded as the time for people to sleep so why it (debate) was done in desperation (keadaan terdesak)…only Parliament knows the answer to that,” he told reporters when met after witnessing the passing of the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Torch at Kuching Waterfront here yesterday.

Asked if he had spoken with any state BN MPs since the heated argument between him and Minister of Tourism and Culture Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz broke out, Abdul Karim said he had asked them on what the situation was like at the time.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

‘State’s withdrawal from MTB not related to spat with Nazri’

June 13, 2017


KUCHING: State Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the decision of the Chief Minister Office to pull out from Malaysia Tourism Board (MTB) is not due to the spat between him and Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz.

He said the decision was made by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and he has his reasons for doing so.

“No, it is not related to what happened between Datuk Nazri and me,” he told The Borneo Post when asked whether the pullout was due to the recent exchange of words between him and Nazri.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Karim okay with Khairy's suggestion



SIMUNJAN: The tiff between Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz and Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah should be resolved in the spirit of Barisan Nasional, said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. 

The Barisan Youth chairman said he believed both individuals should sit down to resolve their differences, adding that it is important the solution should be based on the spirit of Barisan comradeship. 

It was reported that Nazri had labelled Abdul Karim, who is Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister, as a "greenhorn" over his remarks on the implementation of tourism tax. 

"I just discussed the issue with Sarawak BN Youth chairman Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, and I hope it will be resolved in the Barisan spirit of musyawarah (discussion). We have the principle of comradeship and consensus, and that the issue should not be extended to the media," said Khairy. 

He said that he believes the issue will be settled as it is a policy matter which can be discussed between two ministers. 

Usah panjangkan lagi, kata Karim

12 Jun 2017


"Tak perlulah dipanjangkan," kata Menteri Pelancongan, Kesenian, Kebudayaan, Belia dan Sukan Sarawak, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah semasa diminta mengulas kenyataan Menteri Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan, Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz mengenai beliau semalam.

Katanya, beliau memang mengakui Nazri sebagai 'orang lama' dalam arena politik negara, dan beliau sendiri (Karim) sama seperti orang lain sentiasa dalam proses pembelajaran sepanjang masa.

"Saya tidak kecil hati, tapi kalau nak kata saya baru dalam politik, tak tahu apa-apa..., tak tepat juga kerana saya pun dah empat penggal jadi wakil rakyat," katanya ketika dihubungi di Kuching hari ini.

Menurutnya beliau cuma berharap agar Nazri sentiasa berhati-hati semasa bercakap, sebolehnya janganlah menyinggung hati sesiapa, dan jagalah sama perasaan orang lain, apa lagi di bulan puasa ini.

Beberapa portal media melaporkan semalam Nazri menyelar kenyataan Abdul Karim minggu lepas yang menggesa kerajaan supaya menangguh pelaksanaan cukai pelancongan di Sabah dan Sarawak kerana khuatir cukai baharu tersebut akan membawa impak negatif kepada industri pelancongan negeri.

Nazri belum benar-benar kenal saya, kata Karim

June 12, 2017



Selepas disuruh tutup mulut, menteri pelancongan Sarawak berkata soal pelancongan negeri itu tidak dibutirkan dalam Perjanjian Malaysia dan oleh itu perlu melalui rundingan.

PETALING JAYA: Sehari selepas dipanggil menteri “setahun jagung” yang tidak berpengalaman, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah menasihati Menteri Pelancongan Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz supaya lebih bersopan santun terutama pada bulan Ramadan.

“Kalau dia fikir saya jahil, saya rasa dia belum benar-benar kenal saya,” kata menteri pelancongan Sarawak itu dipetik Borneo Post hari ini.


Amicable solution to be sought

June 12, 2017

Minister says state govt to discuss Tourism Tax at next meeting to resolve disagreement over its implementation


Abdul Karim (centre) stirring the ‘bubur lambuk’ before distributing it to the people during yesterday’s event.

KUCHING: The state cabinet will discuss in detail the implementation of the Tourism Tax in the state at a state cabinet meeting that will be held soon.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the outcome from the state cabinet meeting will enable the state government to come up with a follow up action on the issue.

“I believe it (Tourism Tax) will be discussed in the coming state cabinet meeting and we will make a follow up from that. This matter is higher than my ministry. 

It is the sole right of the state government and the people of Sarawak,” Abdul Karim told reporters after presenting ‘bubur lambuk’ and ‘bubur pedas’ to the people at an event at Sarawak Plaza here yesterday.

The event was organised by Perbadanan Kemajuan Kraftangan Malaysia Sarawak branch in cooperation with Borneo Island Big Bikers (BIBB).

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Drugs, alcohol and illegal racing still plague youths – Abdul Karim

June 11, 2017

Abdul Karim hands over contributions to recipients from welfare bodies. From left are Saribas assemblyman Mohd Razi Sitam and Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Snowdan Lawan.
KUCHING: Drug abuse, alcoholism, and illegal racing are social problems that continue to affect youths in the state.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said as such the ministry needs to ensure its programmes are relevant and current for the youths of today.

“Based on this year’s statistics from the Statistics Department, 42 per cent or almost half of Sarawak’s 2.7 million population are those listed within the youth category. We see this as a challenge because youths are the heartbeat and indicator of the nation’s future.

“This is because how our country turns out to become in the next 20 years from now, is dependent on how we treat our youths who are our next echelon of leaders. If they are well groomed, the country will be on course to become a developed one, but the country will be in disorder if the youths are getting involved in social problems,” he said launching Program Imarah Belia Ramadan on Friday.

Karim, who is also Malaysian Drug Prevention Association (Pemadam) Sarawak chairman, said he is saddened that most drug abusers are youths, especially those who are Muslim and from the Malay community.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Abdul Karim wants enforcement of Tourism Tax deferred

June 10, 2017


KUCHING: Sarawak wants the federal government to defer enforcement of the Tourism Tax, which is scheduled to take effect on July 1.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the state government wanted to have consultation and discussion with the federal government on the matter before the enforcement of the tax here.

“We want the enforcement of the Tourism Tax to be deferred. 

If they do not want to defer it in Semenanjung (Peninsular Malaysia), that is up to them. 

But at least defer it in Sabah and Sarawak.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Thumbs up for LCCT

June 9, 2017

KUCHING: The proposal to construct a Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) here has received support from Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He said an LCCT could help to facilitate the growth of the tourism industry in Sarawak.

“If a separate LCCT building could expedite and facilitate the growth of tourism industry in Sarawak, of course it would be good to have it.

“I do not have any detail on this yet. I need to check. If there is, it should be under the purview of the federal government unless the state government decides to be involved,” he said when contacted yesterday on AirAsia Berhad chief executive officer Aireen Omar’s recent statement that Kuching International Airport (KIA) had almost reached its capacity of five million passengers.

Abdul Karim said the ministry and other tourism industry players had to go the extra mile to ensure there are more flights for Sarawak.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Putrajaya failed to consult Sarawak over tourism tax, state minister says

June 08, 2017


KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 ― The Sarawak state government is opposed to Putrajaya’s new tourism tax which will come into effect in August, according to a state minister.

Tourism, Arts, Culture and Youth Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was quoted by The Borneo Post as saying that the move is a “glaring example” of Putrajaya implementing policies without consulting the state.

“I see the imposition of the tourism tax in Sarawak as well as introducing the Tourism Tax Bill without informing the Sarawak state government as going against the spirit of MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963),” he reportedly said.

The tourism tax, which will come into effect on August 1, will be imposed on both domestic and foreign tourists on all rated and non-rated commercial accommodations, except for homestays and places with less than 10 rooms.

The charges, which are fixed at a per-night rate, are according to the tier of the accommodation, with higher charges for a five star accommodation.

State against new federal tourism tax



SIBU: The state government is opposed to the imposition of the new federal tourism tax nationwide.

From Aug 1, hotel customers would be required to pay a nightly tax per room of RM20 for 5-star hotels; RM10 for 4-star hotels; RM5 for 1- to 3-star hotels; and RM2.50 for one, two, and three orchid hotels as well as unrated hotels.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah called the new tourism tax a glaring example of the federal government imposing tax laws in Sarawak without consultation.

“I see the imposition of the tourism tax in Sarawak as well as introducing the Tourism Tax Bill without informing the Sarawak state government as going against the spirit of MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963),” he said when contacted yesterday.

Abdul Karim explained that when Malaysia was formed in 1963, matters which come under the purview of the federal government were called Federal List matters, while those under the purview of the state were called State List matters.

Galeri: Henry and his delegation pay courtesy call on Karim

June 8, 2017

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (seated) and his ministry's permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik (third right) are seen during a photo call with Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep (third left) and his delegation.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

No travel ban for Sarawakians visiting UK — Abdul Karim

June 6, 2017

SIBU: The state will not ban Sarawakians from travelling to the United Kingdom (UK) despite a series of terrorist attacks in the country.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak has full confidence in the UK’s security and would not ban Sarawakians from traveling to the country.

“This is what these terrorists want and they would be very happy if we start to avoid the UK as our destination. For us to avoid travelling there would be a victory of sorts to them.

“We have full confidence in the UK’s security service in addressing these terrorists,” Abdul Karim told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Seven people died and 48 were injured, with 21 still in critical condition, in the most recent terrorist attack that took place in London on Saturday night.

AirAsia’s Kuching-Pontianak flight boosts state’s tourism — Abdul Karim

June 6, 2017

Abdul Karim (centre) and Lee (on Karim’s left) placing scarves with ethnic motifs on passengers to welcome them upon their arrival at KIA on board the inaugural AirAsia flight from Pontianak to Kuching. Also seen are Muhammad (left) and Aireen (second left).
KUCHING: AirAsia celebrated its inaugural flight from Pontianak, Indonesia to Kuching with the arrival of its plane at Kuching International Airport (KIA) at 1.50pm yesterday.

The plane was greeted with a ceremonial two-hose ‘water salute’ while taxiing into the parking apron and as passengers disembarked, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah alongside Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin and AirAsia Berhad chief executive officer Aireen Omar were on hand to welcome and present them with ethnic motif scarves as well as goodie bags.

Abdul Karim described the direct flight as another milestone in the development of tourism in Sarawak as connectivity served as one of the state government’s prime areas of concern in the industry circle.

“I have just returned from Guangzhou, China and the feedback I received from the industry players there was that direct air connectivity into Sarawak is the major critical success factor if we want to put tourism as our main contribution towards our economy,” he said in his speech.

He added that the addition of the Kuching-Pontianak route, with seven times weekly direct flights, is indeed a boost for the state which looked forward to more connected and services routes between Kuching and Pontianak as the segment of its medical tourism as well as connecting flights are set to grow and expand.

KIA reaching its full capacity — AirAsia CEO

June 6, 2017

Aireen (left) speaking during the press conference. Also with her are (from second left) Abdul Karim, Lee and Abdul Wahab.
KUCHING: The Kuching International Airport (KIA) has almost reached its capacity of five million passengers per year.

This was disclosed by AirAsia Berhad chief executive officer Aireen Omar who proposed that the international airport here be expanded to bring in more connectivity to the state.

“I think the current airport facility (KIA) is reaching its full capacity already because last year it has reached almost five million passengers and the capacity of this international airport is five million per annum.

“So I think we need to start looking at how to expand the airport now in order for us to realise our plans in bringing more connectivity,” she told a press conference after joining Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah in welcoming passengers from the inaugural AirAsia flight from Pontianak, Indonesia to Kuching at KIA yesterday.

Aireen was responding to a question on whether AirAsia’s plans to have a dedicated low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in the state was still in the pipeline.