Razali: No need to prolong Nazri-Karim spat

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PETALING JAYA: An Umno deputy minister said the public spat between a federal minister and a Sarawak minister can be settled amicably.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Razali Ibrahim said with both sides being members of Barisan Nasional component parties, they should find a solution to end the public feud.

“We should stop the public debate because when we make comments publicly, it would prolong the feud,” he told reporters after attending a buka puasa gathering in Putra Heights here.

Razali who is also Muar MP, was commenting on the clash between Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz and Sarawak’s Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

The verbal war began when Karim said the federal government should not impose the new tourism tax in Sarawak without consultation. The tax is to start on July 1.

In response, Nazri had told reporters that Karim should “learn to be a minister before he opens his mouth”.

“If you think you’re a gangster, there are bigger gangsters than you,” Nazri said.
He also said the law enabling the tax was debated and passed in Parliament.

Fellow cabinet members, such as Works Minister Fadillah Yusof and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan have so far defended Karim and criticised Nazri’s statement.

The tax for non-rated hotels will be RM2.50, while the tax for two-star ones is RM5, three-star RM10, four-star RM15 and five-star RM20.

On the Felda Global Ventures (FGV) issue, Razali hoped the appointment of Idris Jala will determine the next move that needs to be taken.

“All the investments in Felda should give a return. What happened in FGV is of real concern.”

He hoped Idris, who has been appointed as an independent party, will recommend a way forward for FGV.

On June 5, FGV group president and CEO Zakaria Arshad was told to go on leave by the FGV board pending investigations into an alleged delay in payment by Afghan company Safitex to FGV subsidiary Delima Oil Products.

The next day, Zakaria went to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters to assist investigations into alleged improprieties.