Hornbill Unleashed

June 12, 2017

Tourism Tax: See backs Abdul Karim’s stand

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Image result for see chee how and abdul karimState Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was right in questioning the federal government’s move to impose tourism tax on hotels and tourist related accommodation in Sarawak without any consultation with the Sarawak state government.

This was stated by Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How yesterday in rebutting a statement by federal Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz in the front page of a Chinese national daily yesterday (June 11) which described Abdul Karim as ignorant.

Nazri was reported to have said the federal government has the power to levy any taxes and once the Bill is passed in the Parliament, Sabah and Sarawak should also pay taxes to the federal government.

“Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was right based on the Federal Constitution and the Malaysia Agreement.

“Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz is the one who is ignorant, and he is downright arrogant as well.”

In supporting Kaim’s stand, See said that it is an undisputable fact that the subject matter ‘Tourism’ was not included in any of the legislative lists found in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitutionat at the formation of Malaysia”

“Sarawak had rightfully taken it upon itself to establish the Ministry of Tourism (then called ‘Ministry of Tourism and Environment’) in 1985 and assumed legislative and executive powers over the matters relating to tourism since.

“It was not until 1994 that the federal government introduced an ambiguous and dubious Constitution (Amendment) Bill 1994 to add tourism as an item in the ‘federal list’. However, as Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has rightly pointed out, there was no consultation with nor consent of the Sarawak government in taking tourism which is a residual matter prior to 1994 to be a federal matter.”

Despite the passing of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 1994, See said Sarawak still maintains the Ministry of Tourism and exercises its executive powers with regards tourism.

“The Sarawak government has continued to exercise its jurisdiction over tourism in Sarawak and had incurred enormous expenditure all these years in promoting the tourism industry in Sarawak.

“The state Ministry of Tourism was never subsumed into the federal authority. Hence, it was treated in actual fact, and rightly, an item in the concurrent list or state list.”

See pointed out that Articles 74, 77, 79 and 80 of the Federal Constitution have made specific provisions on the legislative and executive powers and the distribution of such powers to be exercised by the Federation and Sarawak and Sabah.

“Together with all the other provisions in the Ninth Schedule and other related Articles of the Federal Constitution, of which probably some federal ministers are ignorant or chose to ignore them, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz is confused, misleading and wrongful to say that the levying and collection of the Tourism Tax is exclusively the power of the federal government.”

See said with Sarawak (and Sabah) having legislative and executive powers over tourism, the enforcement of the Tourism Tax could only take effect with the concurrence of the government and Sarawak and Sabah, after agreement has been reached on the details of the tax regime, including the rates, collection and apportionment of the tax revenues.

See said the Umno minister was downright arrogant in insisting to implement the tourism tax on July 1 although the Tourism Tax Bill 2017 has yet to be gazetted.

In a national Chinese daily on June 7, Nazri was quoted as saying: “It’s true that it has yet to be gazetted but Malaysians don’t know the law. Even if the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong does not assent to the law, the gazetting will be automatic and it will become law.”

He called upon the Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg to immediately make representation to Putrajaya to clarify the ambiguities and legality of levying and implementing the tourism tax in Sarawak.

See, who is state PKR vice chairman, said the Chief Minister should also make it clear with Putrajaya that the federal government cannot impose the tax on hotel operators in Sarawak, regardless of whether they have registered with the federal Tourism Ministry or not, before consulting the state government.


Source : The Borneo Post Online by Jonathan Chia


 

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4 Comments »

  1. Cuti Cuti Malaysia now Curi Curi Malaysia?

    Comment by Heng — June 12, 2017 @ 1:02 PM | Reply

  2. CM so quiet?

    Comment by tigeryk — June 12, 2017 @ 9:44 AM | Reply

  3. “Tourism tax: Nazri ticks off ‘rookie’ S’wak minister ” !! Saw this headline on another blog. So now hope Sarawak’s BN can feel how important it is for us Sarawakians to stand up against this type of insult.

    Comment by Sii Pai Gong — June 12, 2017 @ 9:00 AM | Reply

    • This is NOT the first time a Federal Minister issuing statements belittling and mocking state ministers/leaders. Of course it will not be the last one too. When the HEAD is UNDER SIEGE from left and right, even from the front and back, HE is in no position to reprimand and discipline his samseng ministers who are fond of looking for publicity at every opportunity available. Or to be precise, how can the ‘sifu’ behave his ‘anak-anak murid’ if he himself is a proven bandid. It is heartening though to see that there are state leaders daring enough to at least ask those samseng federal ministers to ‘watch their mouths’ and discard the samseng kurang ajar attitude.

      Comment by Heng — June 12, 2017 @ 1:22 PM | Reply


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