KUCHING: The meeting between tourism ministries of Sarawak and Sabah has seen both sides agreeing that if the Tourism Act 2017 were to be enforced, it should serve as a catalyst of growth for the industry.
In a statement issued yesterday, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment of Sabah Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said the meeting also agreed on the contents of a draft memorandum to be presented to the federal government.
When contacted, state Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said he agreed with what Masidi had said in the statement.
“Treat my statement as similar as his (Masidi’s),” Abdul Karim told The Borneo Post.
The statement further pointed out that the interest of the tourism industry of both Sarawak and Sabah was the overriding consideration in the preparation of the memorandum on the Tourism Tax Act 2017.
“The industry’s growth and sustainability are crucial to the future economic wellbeing of the two Borneo states,” added the statement.
The meeting was held yesterday morning at Kota Kinabalu where officials from the tourism ministries of both Sarawak and Sabah met to discuss the Tourism Tax Act 2017.
The Sarawak delegation of senior state government officials was led by Abdul Karim. Assistant Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin; Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik; and Sarawak Deputy Attorney General John Wayne Sirau were among those in the Sarawak delegation.
The Sabah delegation to the meeting, comprising senior officials from its Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment and Sabah Deputy Attorney-General Zaleha Pandin, was led by Masidi.
The meeting was held to discuss the implications of the Tourism Act 2017 on Sabah and Sarawak and to find common grounds of agreement for both states to take a joint stand on certain provisions of the Act.
“The meeting was held in a very cordial and brotherly manner. I am pleased to announce that Sabah and Sarawak tourism ministries have reached an agreement of a common stand on some of the major provisions of the Act.
“The meeting has also come up with suggestions and proposals to fine-tune certain provisions of the Act to ensure growth and sustainability of the tourism industry, especially in Sabah and Sarawak,” concluded the statement. -TheBorneoPost