Sabah and Sarawak want more control over state tourism revenue

Published on : Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sabah and SarawakSabah and Sarawak wish more control and power over the provision of the state’s tourism revenue, and have made it known to Putrajaya via a joint memorandum.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Masidi Manjun said that it is one of the recommendations made in the joint memorandum signed by the chief ministers of the two states. Tourism is currently listed under federal jurisdiction in the Federal Constitution’s Ninth Schedule.

The two state’s joint memorandum to Putrajaya is to present its views and concerns over the implementation of the tourism tax law, and seek better terms for the allocation of the tax revenue. The tax is being thought of as delaying to the next year and distributing the tourism tax revenue more fairly between Sabah, Sarawak and the other states in west Malaysia.

Manjun said, “We are committed to defend Sabah’s rights for a better deal of the new tax law if it gets enforced”, reiterating that Sabah and Sarawak deserve a larger share of the revenue to fund the tourism promotion activities in both states.

He said the ministry is yet to receive instructions to implement the tax, which Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said that it would start by September 1, after two false starts of July 1 and Aug 1.

Tourism is one of Sabah’s main revenue sources, bringing in some RM7.25billion in tourism receipts in 2016 from 1.13 million foreign visitors and 2.23 million domestic visitors.

The new tax will see foreigners being charged a flat rate of RM10 per night across all classifications of hotels and accommodation.

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