KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 ― The Sarawak state government is opposed to Putrajaya’s new tourism tax which will come into effect in August, according to a state minister.
Tourism, Arts, Culture and Youth Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was quoted by The Borneo Post as saying that the move is a “glaring example” of Putrajaya implementing policies without consulting the state.
“I see the imposition of the tourism tax in Sarawak as well as introducing the Tourism Tax Bill without informing the Sarawak state government as going against the spirit of MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963),” he reportedly said.
The tourism tax, which will come into effect on August 1, will be imposed on both domestic and foreign tourists on all rated and non-rated commercial accommodations, except for homestays and places with less than 10 rooms.
The charges, which are fixed at a per-night rate, are according to the tier of the accommodation, with higher charges for a five star accommodation.
Abdul Karim said that tourism was not in either the Federal or State List in the Malaysia Agreement, and thus the matter should have been discussed and deliberated between both governments.
Malaysian Association of Hotels Sarawak chapter chief Ibrahim Nordin was also reported saying that they are against the new tax, saying that it would result in both hotels and customers incurring new charges.