Tourism tax: Wan Junaidi takes LGE to task

Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

KUCHING, Jan 6: Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has lambasted Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for practicing gutter politics.

He also told Lim to behave like a minister with “class”.

“A minister should show class. Lim should not show gutter politics in the high office of the Ministry of Finance,” said Wan Junaidi in a statement today.

He said the Sarawak government’s debt to the federal government was not related to the tourism tax remittance which Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah had asked the federal government to pay up.

The state government’s debt is to be paid by instalments and if the annual payment is not current, then Lim should bring it to the attention of the state government, he said, adding that it is of different issue.

“As a Minister of Finance, he should concentrate his response on the issue of un-remitted tourism tax; actually he could just say ‘not being remitted yet’ and give whatever excuses for the delay.

“To talk about other unrelated matters on the issue of tourism tax is childish!” said Wan Junaidi.

He also said it was unnecessary to refer back to the cabinet decision made during the time of Barisan Nasional as Lim himself mentioned about remittance of 50 per cent tourism tax collected in Sarawak to be returned to Sarawak in the latter’s 2019 budget speech.

“If it is not yet remitted according to his statement, there is completely nothing wrong for YB Datuk Karim Hamzah, as the Minister of Tourism Sarawak, to raise the issue because the budget promise has not been fulfilled.

“Sarawak Tourism needs the money. It has nothing to do with the reserve that Sarawak has. Why the anger and punching below the belt? Be more mature, Lim,” said Wan Junaidi.

Wan Junaidi was responding to the recent war of words between Lim and Abdul Karim.

Abdul Karim in a recent function stated that while the tourism tax has been collected by the federal government since 2017, half of it had yet to be remitted to Sarawak as agreed.

He thus called on the federal government to pay up.

In response, Lim issued a statement, challenging the Sarawak government to pay up RM2.5 billion in loans which the Sarawak government owes the federal government. — DayakDaily