KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 ― Malaysians will be exempted from paying the controversial tourism tax, but only if they stay at hotels rated three-stars and under.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz who confirmed the new ruling, added that locals who chose higher-end lodgings rated four stars and above will still have to pay the new tax, news portal Malaysiakini reported today.
“Malaysians who stay in five-star, they can bloody well afford it. So make your contributions,” he was quoted telling a press conference at the Malaysia Tourism Centre here.
The government had previously said it would reconsider exempting Malaysians from paying the tourism tax at budget hotels, following uproar from those in the travel and hospitality industry.
The tourism tax, passed in Parliament earlier this year, was scheduled to be collected from this month but later postponed to August 1. The charges have been set at between RM20 and a lowly RM2.50 a night, depending on the hotel rating.