: The tourism tax spat between Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and the Sarawak and Sabah governments has been resolved.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in yesterday's Cabinet meeting had directed for the issue to be resolved and said no further statement should be issued, either by the central or state government leaders.
Ahmad Zahid also said that he had personally met Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Abang Openg and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman on Wednesday.
"I personally met the chief ministers of Sarawak and Sabah on Wednesday. This chapter is closed so let's open a new one," he said at a press conference here today.
Ahmad Zahid said the tourism tax will be implemented as planned on July 1.
"We feel that the tourism promotion requires fund and there are states which collect a small amount of tax and there are states that collect a larger amount.
"The tax will be used for the promotion of tourism products, not only by states but by fields or by the importance of tourism products," he said.
When asked if Sarawak had withdrew its decision to quit the Malaysian Tourism Board, Ahmad Zahid stressed that the matter had been resolved and will not be brought up again.
Last week, Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah had urged the federal government to defer the July 1 implementation of the tourism tax for Sarawak and Sabah and that it must respect the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
The issue has caused a tiff between Abdul Karim and Nazri who chided him over his remarks on the implementation of the tourism tax, labelling him a greenhorn and asking him not to behave like a ''gangster''.