KUCHING – Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth has hit out at Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz for his tactless remarks against the state’s Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, which it said did not reflect the family spirit in BN.
Its chief, Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said labelling the Sarawak minister a “greenhorn and still a kid” was an insult to Abdul Karim who had been entrusted by the state’s leadership to helm the ministry at the state level.
He said as one big family in BN, any issue, especially that touched on the people’s sensitivities at whatever level, should be handled amicably together in the true BN spirit and not through a public statement or media announcement as it could cause anger among netizens.
“If there are issues to be explained, it should be done properly and courteously and not belittle the leaders of the other component parties,” said Fadillah, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB) Youth chief, in a statement, here, today.
He said Sarawak BN Youth’s stand was that mutual respect and unanimity among leaders of the (BN) component parties should be a priority with the differences of opinion be resolved harmoniously through the proper party channels.
A number of media portals have reported Nazri making the unkind remarks at the Iftar programme @ KL at Dataran Merdeka yesterday, in response to Abdul Karim’s statements on the tourism tax which will come into force on July 1.
Fadillah, who is also Works Minister, said calling another (leader) a gangster was simply improper as it was not only an insult to the individual concerned but could also tarnish the party’s image as gangsterism was not a culture in BN, what more in PBB.
“We can discuss the differences of opinion on all matters and take the opportunity to reach a consensus for the best solution to be taken.
“In facing whatever issue, Sarawak BN’s stand is that the most important thing is maintaining the big family spirit in BN, the party which has been given the mandate and trust by the people, which should be upheld and protected,” he said.
Meanwhile, Abdul Karim said the matter should be put to rest, when asked to comment on Nazri’s statement.
He admitted that Nazri was an “old-timer” in politics while he himself like many others were in the life-long learning process.
“I’m not upset but to say I am still new in politics and do not know anything, is inaccurate as I am an elected representative for four terms,” he said when contacted, here, today.
Abdul Karim said he only hoped that Nazri would be more careful when speaking, if possible not to hurt anyone’s feelings and think about the feelings of others, what more during the fasting month.
Last week, Abdul Karim had reportedy urged the government to defer the implementation of the tourism tax in Sabah and Sarawak for fear that the new tax would have a negative impact on the two states’ tourism industry.
This drew a harsh rebuke from Nazri with words like “baru setahun jagung jadi