KUCHING: The Sarawak state government is unhappy with the Tourism and Culture Ministry’s recent decision to return RM1 for every RM10 in tax per room per night collected from foreign tourists, to the state government.
Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said it is because the decision differs from the initial arrangement.
He said the state government is expected to submit a joint memorandum with Sabah to negotiate with Kuala Lumpur on the tourism tax issue, and further asked the reporters to check with the Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah on the matter.
The Chief Minister told this to reporters when briefly met after the opening of the Second International Conference on Special Education 2017 (ICSE) at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday evening.
Last Wednesday, Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz while replying to a question from Loke Siew Fook (DAP-Seremban) said that tourism tax would only be imposed on foreign tourists staying at all types of accommodation at a rate of RM10 per room per night, and the ministry plans to return RM1 for every RM10 in tax per room per night collected, to the state governments for the purpose of promoting tourism.
However, earlier last month some news portals reported that Nazri had said Sabah and Sarawak would be the biggest beneficiaries from the tourism tax as “the money will be split evenly by region (peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak), not state because if Perlis gets the same amount as Sarawak then it would not be fair”.