Hornbill Unleashed

June 13, 2017

Sarawak, MAH withdraw from MTB

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Image result for Malaysia Tourism BoardThe state government has decided to withdraw the participation of its representative in Malaysia Tourism Board (MTB), with immediate effect yesterday.

A statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said: “The state government deems that the participation of its representative in MTB unnecessary as it duplicates the roles and functions of Sarawak Tourism Board (STB).”

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, in response to Sarawak’s decision, said it was a ‘good move’.

Following the CMO’s announcement on the state’s pull- out of MTB, Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) also announced that it is withdrawing from the national tourism board. The withdrawal was made by MAH Sarawak Chapter president Ibrahim Nordin yesterday.

“MAH national has withdrawn our representatives from MTB too,” Ibrahim told The Borneo Post, citing the same reason given by the Sarawak government.

“Our industry’s voice is being ignored and our participation is not benefiting to our industry,” he said.

Meanwhile, state Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah stressed that the state government’s withdrawal from MTB had nothing to do with the Tourism Tax, which would take effect this July 1.

Last Wednesday, Abdul Karim called for the implementation of the Tourism Tax to be deferred in Sarawak until the state government had been consulted and given a chance to state its stand.

The new tax will entail hotel paying RM20 per room booked per night for five star hotels; RM10 for four star hotels; RM5 for one to three star hotels; RM2.50 for one to three orchid hotel as well as unrated hotels. The new tax will affect all hotel customers regardless of whether their stay is for leisure or business.

Abdul Karim, in his statement, said the implementation of the new Tourism Tax was a glaring example of the federal government bulldozing their tax laws onto Sarawak without consulting Sarawak state government which is a breach of the Malaysian Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“I see the imposition of the Tourism Tax in Sarawak as well as the introducing of the Tourism Tax Bill without informing Sarawak state government as going against the spirit of MA63,” he said.

The rude and arrogant response to Abdul Karim’s call from federal Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz raised a storm of protests and condemnation from Sarawakians.

Source : The Borneo Post Online by Lian Cheng



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