Sunday, 18 June 2017

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.

“However, I decided not to answer anything as this would lead to more speculations. The (members of the) press were asking me all sorts of questions – whether there’s going to be a common stand and some kind of discussions pertaining to the new (tourism) taxation rule,” the minister said.

He, however, disclosed that the issue would be discuss during the next cabinet meeting this June 22, expressing his hope that a collective decision could be reached between both states on the matter.

Karim said the ministry – a combination of two previous ministries namely Tourism, Arts and Culture as well as Youth and Sports – would undergo more positive changes with a bigger and stronger team.

He even took the ‘setahun jagung’ (greenhorn) swipe – one thrown at him by the federal Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz recently amidst the row over the new tourism tax – in stride.

“As a new minister, I’m still ‘setahun jagung’. I do hope that things would progress as we go along.”

The Integrity Day 2017 for his ministry extended into a joint ‘buka puasa’ (break-of-fast) and Gawai Dayak celebration in the evening, where Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Snowdan Lawan, Kalaka assemblyman Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz who is also Sarawak Tourism Board director, and the ministry’s permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik were present.

In his address to his staff, Abdul Karim said overall, the all-day event served as a good platform for all of them to get to know one another.

“I believe that we will see more of each other after this,” said the minister.

Abdul Karim also reminded his staff to always practise good work ethics and be more dedicated to their profession.

“Set a good example to your peers and uphold good work ethics. Together, let’s hope that this newly-revamped ministry would have the best of work ethics,” he said. -TheBorneoPost

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