KUCHING: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah says there is no need for the state government to go and see his federal counterpart to discuss the Tourism Tax issue.
Instead, he suggested that Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz come to see Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg to explain the issue.
“He should come over to Sarawak, talk to our Chief Minister. I will wait for him at the airport if he needs me to welcome him.
“There is no need to be scared. Treat Sarawak as part of Malaysia,” he told a press conference at his office here yesterday.
Abdul Karim said there was also no necessity for him to meet Nazri, what he did was merely to express his displeasure and to protect the rights of Sarawak.
He said people in Peninsular Malaysia, especially the leaders, should not treat Sarawak like other states.
“We formed Malaysia. Four regions initially formed Malaysia plus Singapore. But Singapore is no more.
“So you don’t treat us like the way you treat the other states.
“You don’t expect us to go and see you over there. You should come here to tell us. Come and see our Chief Minister to explain to him why are you doing this? Why treat us like other states?” he asked.
Abdul Karim was asked if the state government would respond to Nazri’s call for them to speak directly to him if they had any misgivings about the distribution of the tourism tax.
Under the Tourism Tax, foreign tourists are charged a flat rate of RM10 a room per night at hotels nationwide from Sept 1.
However, the governments of Sarawak and Sabah were unhappy that their states would only get a RM1 share for every RM10 collected with Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg claiming the the original agreement was 33.33 per cent or RM3.33 for every RM10. -TheBorneoPost