In three stars and below hotels, Malaysians may not have to pay new tourism tax

Published on : Friday, June 23, 2017

petronas-towers-malaysiaHotels rated three stars and below in Malaysia may be excused from paying the contentious tourism tax that will be effect from July 1st, as confirmed by a senior government official.

Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Finance Ministry Secretary-General said that the government is considering the matter and is anticipated to make a decision on it soon, reported The Star yesterday. He said, ‘there are certain categories of people, such as locals, staying at three-star hotels and below who may be exempted. We are studying this.’

Mr Mohd Irwan further added that in terms of tax collection, there will not be any issues as the current tax system is managed by the Customs Department and is based on hotel ratings.

In the month of April, Malaysia declared that it will inflict a tourism tax of between RM2.50 (S$0.81) and RM20 per room, per day for hotel stays from next month, activating a long drawn backlash from the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak along with the tourism industry. Last week, Sarawak took out its representative from the Malaysian Tourism Board as the argument between the Borneo state and Putrajaya over the new tax infliction escalated.

Bitter exchange of words between Sarawak’s Tourism Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah followed the move along with his federal counterpart Nazri Abdul Aziz.

Days later, Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed the argue between Mr Nazri and the Sarawak and Sabah state governments settled, although he did not detailed much.


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