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Putting tourism on Concurrent List will give Sarawak greater autonomy, says Karim
Published on: Saturday, June 15, 2024
By: FMT
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Putting tourism on Concurrent List will give Sarawak greater autonomy, says Karim
Sarawak tourism, creative industry and performing arts minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah acknowledges that discussions on placing tourism under the Concurrent List of the Federal Constitution must balance federal and state interests. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: Placing tourism on the Concurrent List of the Federal Constitution will give Sarawak greater authority over tourism matters, including the licensing of local tourist guides, says a state minister.

Sarawak tourism, creative industry and performing arts minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said licences for tourist guides are currently issued by the federal tourism, arts and culture ministry.

“Previously, anyone who wanted a tourist guide licence had to travel to the peninsula for training. These courses last a few months and they would be taught about places like Batu Caves.

“Then they would return to Sarawak, but the syllabus (taught there) isn’t applicable here. It’s pointless. So that’s why the courses should also be conducted here,” he told reporters attending a badminton association’s event in Kuching today.

However, Karim acknowledged that the federal government had made concessions when requests were made.

Those who are interested in becoming tourist guides must complete a four to six-month basic tourist guide’s course at a registered tourism training institution.

Asked whether all of Sarawak’s demands regarding tourism will be met, Karim said thorough discussions should be held to ensure that both federal and state interests are balanced.

“It’s not about the money. It’s about things that could improve Malaysia, Sarawak, and Sabah. That’s my perspective.

“Why must certain responsibilities be exclusive to the peninsula, or Sarawak, or Sabah?” he said.

Last Friday, it was reported that the working committee on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 has agreed to take out “tourism” from the Federal List and insert it under the State List of the Federal Constitution.

Karim said the agreement was reached during the committee meeting three weeks ago.

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