PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz is willing to meet a Sarawak state minister to talk things through after the public spat over the new tourism tax issue.
“We can meet anytime. We are both Barisan members. That should have been done in the first place,” said the Culture and Tourism Minister.
But Nazri defended his labelling of Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah as a political greenhorn, saying that it was a statement of fact rather than an insult.
“I didn’t mean any insult when I said he (Abdul Karim) was a setahun jagung minister.
“It means he is new. He was appointed as a minister less than three months. You cannot deny that. I am merely stating a fact,” he said.
Nazri pointed out that Abdul Karim had whacked the Government over the tourism tax issue.
“He straightaway accused the Federal Government of taking away state rights, and he quoted the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“Isn’t it better to say ‘I will seek clarification from the Federal Government’ instead of simply making accusations?” Nazri asked.
Nazri also urged Sarawak Barisan Youth chief Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof to advise Abdul Karim to raise his disagreements in a Barisan meeting.
In a separate development, Nazri said he supported the Sarawak government to withdraw its representative from the Malaysia Tourism Board with immediate effect.
“In January, I closed the Tourism Malaysia office in Sarawak, the reason being duplication of work,” he said.
In Kuching, Abdul Karim said the decision has got nothing to do with his recent spat with Nazri.
“We have decided to run our own programmes to promote tourism to avoid a duplication.”
“This is just a coincidence,” he told reporters after the KL2017 Torch Run yesterday.