Hornbill Unleashed

June 13, 2017

No, Sabah has not rejected new tourism tax, state minister says

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun denied reports that Sabah has rejected the new tourism tax bill. — File picture by Julia ChanSabah Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun has denied reports that Sabah has rejected the new tourism tax bill.

Masidi clarified that a news article had quoted remarks he made back in September last year when the hospitality levy was first proposed.

“That was my statement in 2016 when Nazri first mooted the proposal to impose tourism tax,” he said, when contacted and asked to comment on an article in The Reporter news portal.

Masidi reiterated that the government will discuss the implementation of the tax at next week’s state Cabinet meeting.

He also said that the state will take into consideration Sarawak’s move to pull out from the Tourism Malaysia council.

Last year, he said that it was too soon for Sabah to impose the tax as the tourism industry was just recovering from hitting several low points following kidnapping incidents in the east coast, bad economy and an earthquake.

He said that implementing the tax would be akin to “killing the goose that lays the golden egg”.

Earlier today, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment assistant minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming said the state will decide on its stand soon, taking into account how it was disbursed.

“We need to know for sure and discuss how the implementation and disbursement of the tax collected will be done. We also need to know how this tourism tax works, and whether to impose it on those who can afford and to exempt those who can’t,” he said.

Pang said the state stood to benefit from it if it was taken from the higher income group but the lower income group could be further burdened from it.

Sabah and Sarawak has been resistant over the tax, which has since escalated into a row between federal Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and his Sarawak counterpart Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah over the latter’s comments on the tax.

Abdul Karim previously urged Putrajaya to defer the July 1 implementation of the new tax for Sabah and Sarawak, saying the federal government should respect the Malaysia Agreement 1963 when deciding such matters.

The row has resulted in Sarawak pulling out of the Malaysian Tourism Board.

Source : The Malay Mail Online by JULIA CHAN



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