PETALING JAYA: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan has upped the ante in the spat with his cabinet colleague, Nazri Aziz.
The MP for Kota Belud in Sabah, in a series of tweets this evening, berated Nazri for talking about being a “man” when addressing his Sarawak counterpart Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah’s request to have the new tourism tax deferred from the scheduled date of July 1.
This is believed to be in response to Nazri’s comments to Malaysiakini, where the tourism and culture minister questioned why Karim had to bring Sarawak into a spat between the two of them.
“This is not about man (or) woman, it’s about tact,” said Rahman, who had earlier today come to Karim’s defence by saying Karim may be a new minister but he is “undoubtedly a very seasoned Sarawak politician”.
This was in response to Nazri’s remarks against Karim yesterday where the Umno minister called Karim “inexperienced”.
Nazri had in turn, told Rahman to stay out of the spat between him and Karim, saying that Rahman, too, was a “new and inexperienced” minister.
To this, Rahman said: “In the cabinet, the term old or new is non-existent. There are times when even the PM’s (prime minister) views can be objected to, what more an old male minister.”
When contacted, Nazri again reminded Rahman of his seniority and said Rahman, by interfering in the business of others, had acted without tact.
“The term ‘senior minister’ is used often, but Rahman is certainly not one. Although he sometimes believes he is.
“Besides, he is not a Sarawakian. He is a federal minister who was also involved in the decision to introduce the tourism tax,” he told FMT.
Nazri reiterated that if Karim were a “seasoned politician”, Karim should have personally approached him first instead of publicly questioning the new tourism tax.
The tax will kick in on July 1 and will see hotels nationwide being forced to charge between RM2.50 and RM20 per room per night.
Karim had said the move was an example of the federal government imposing tax laws in Sarawak without consultation, drawing a strong reaction from Nazri.
“You (Karim) should not talk big in politics. If you want to show samseng (thuggery), we are bigger samseng,” Nazri said yesterday.
The comments drew condemnation from Sarawak politicians across the divide, with Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Youth chief Fadillah Yusof, who is also the federal works minister, rebuking Nazri for insulting Karim.