PETALING JAYA: Sarawak minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah says it is unfair for the state to get only 10% of the tourism tax collected there, and that it wants at least 30%.
Speaking at an event in Kuching yesterday, the tourism, arts, culture, youth and sports minister said Sarawak had been “kind enough” to let the federal government take the lion’s share of the the tax collected.
“But don’t give us back only 10%. RM1 out of RM10 is not fair.
Last month, the Sarawak and Sabah state governments said they were not pleased with the new fund distribution arrangement from the tourism tax collected.
This followed the announcement by Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Aziz that 10% of the tax collected would be returned to the respective states’ tourism agencies to support their promotion activities.
Karim said then that he was taken aback by the reduction as Nazri had previously said the total collection was to be divided equally among Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah.
The tourism tax will be officially enforced from Sept 1.
Malaysians and permanent residents will be exempted from paying the tax while foreign tourists will be charged a flat rate of RM10 per room per night for all types of hotel rooms.
The tax will not apply to homestays and kampung stays registered with the ministry and premises with fewer than four rooms.
The government expects to collect about RM210 million in tourism tax annually. -FreeMalaysiaToday