Marathon Parliament session ends after almost 20 hours


KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat which was in a marathon session for almost 20 hours, ended at 5.05am this morning, setting a new record as the longest Parliament session, surpassing the old time of 4.25am.

Parliament was adjourned after the Tourism Tax Bill 2017 that was tabled by Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz was passed with a rousing majority.

In 2015, the Dewan Rakyat set a record for the longest session when it was adjourned at 4.25am, surpassing the previous longest session that ended at 3.21am.

When winding up debate for the Bill, Nazri said revenue from tourism tax would be in the region of RM654.62 million if the overall occupancy rate for the 11 million “room nights” in the country can achieve 60%.

The Tourism Tax Bill will allow the government to impose tourism tax levied on a tourist staying at any accommodation premises made available by an operator at the rate fixed by the minister in accordance with Section 8.

It shall be the duty of a tourist to pay the tourism tax to the operator of the accommodation premises.

“With proper promotion and 80% occupancy rate, RM872.82 million can be collected,” said Nazri, adding that tax collected can provide a sustainable fund every year to develop the tourism industry and ensure tourism becomes even more competitive.

He said tourism tax would be collected from all types of premises used as accommodation for tourists, except homestay and Kampung Stay registered under the ministry, premises managed by institutions (education), premises used for training purposes and religious institutions where such facilities are not used for commercial purposes.

Earlier, the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill 2017, Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2017, Self-Employment Social Security Bill 2017, Private Higher Educational Institutions (Amendment) Bill 2017 and the Labuan Business Activity Tax (Amendment) Bill 2017), were passed.

The Dewan Rakyat will resume at 10am today.