Hornbill Unleashed

July 28, 2017

Sarawak glad Putrajaya sparing locals from tourism tax

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

Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (centre) speaking to reporters after chairing the main organising committee meeting on International Summit on Peace, July 26, 2017. — Picture by Sulok TawieSarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah welcomed tonight the federal government’s decision to exempt Malaysians from paying the controversial tourism tax.

He believed the decision was based on feedback from stakeholders, including the Sarawak government.

“We, of course, welcome the exemption because it does not involve Malaysians,” he told reporters after chairing the main organising committee meeting on the International Summit On Peace that will be held here in September.

“Since it does not involve Malaysians having to pay taxes, then it is good news. This is what we have been saying all this while,” he said, adding many countries that imposed the tourism tax also exempted their citizens from paying it.

Abdul Karim believes the federal Tourism Ministry is now sensitive to the views of the people, explaining the reason for the exemption.

However, he said the RM10 per night per room tax on foreign visitors at five-star rated hotels is too little.

“It is just over US$2 so the amount of tax is small compared to how much we have to pay when we go to other countries,” he said.

But he still hoped that the tourism tax collection will be shared out equally among Sarawak, Sabah and the states in the peninsula to promote tourism.

The Sarawak and Sabah governments had previously spoken out against the federal government’s plan to tax all guests staying at hotels, regardless whether they were foreign travellers or locals. The initial charge was set at between RM2.50 and RM20, depending on the hotel rating.

The Sarawak government had wanted the tourism charges to be deferred to next year.

But Abdul Karim said that there was now no need to defer its implementation since Malaysians will no longer be charged, and hoped the decision is final.

“If it involves Malaysians, then we will be sensitive about it and then we will want its imposition to be deferred to early next year,” he said, adding that there was no need to add to the tax burden of Malaysians who are now paying the Goods and Services Tax.

The Sarawak minister also told reporters that he has yet to get feedback on the impact of the rabies outbreak in Serian and Kuching on tourist arrivals in the state.

“We do not know for sure how far the news on the outbreak has spread,” he said, adding that the rabies spread is not as alarming as claims circulating on social media.

The International Summit on Peace is organised by the Junior Chamber International Sarawak, together with the state government.


Source : The Malay Mail Online by Sulok Tawie


 

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1 Comment »

  1. Merry-go-round on this hotel tax issue on locals took an u turn as it is a ploy meant to deflect the heat from 1MDB. Can expect more such ploys from BN closer to GE.

    Comment by Nina — July 28, 2017 @ 3:08 PM | Reply


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