Announcement on tourism tax soon, says customs chief


PUTRAJAYA: An announcement on the much debated tourism tax will be made soon, said customs director-general Subromaniam Tholasy.

“There will be an announcement in the near future,” he said, declining to say anything further.

It was previously reported that the tourism tax would be implemented from Aug 1, and will be on a fixed rate, charged on a per-room, per-night basis.

The tax is RM2.50 for non-rated hotels. RM5 for two-star, RM10 for three-star, RM15 for four-star and RM20 for five-star.

When winding up debate on the Tourism Tax Bill in the Dewan Rakyat on April 6, Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Aziz said the tax would be able to bring in an income of about RM654.62 million if there was a 60% occupancy rate at the more than 11 million hotel rooms in the country.

He had said the tax will be used to improve tourism facilities and promote Malaysia overseas.

Subromaniam had earlier handed over 80 new Isuzu D-Max 3.0 vehicles to the department’s enforcement division, to be used in operations and raids.

The bulk of the vehicles, he said, are being sent to states such as Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Johor, identified hotspots due to their proximity to neighbouring countries.

He added that between 2013 and this year, there had been a total of 150 cases of threats made against Customs officers on duty.