Retaining tourism tax a good move, says Sarawak minister

KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has welcomed the government’s decision not to abolish the tourism tax.

The state tourism, arts, culture, youth and sports minister said: “I fully support the decision that it should not be abolished. It is not a burden to locals. It is only imposed on foreigners.

“The tax is very manageable for foreigners. It’s just RM10. It is good income for the government and the tourism industry.

“As a matter of fact, it should be expanded,” he told FMT today.

Abdul Karim was asked to comment on the federal government’s decision to stick to the tax, even though it had previously opposed it.

“I will support when it is good. Personally, I feel retaining the tax is the right move. But whether the government of the day has flip-flopped on its decision, that is for the public to judge,” he added.

Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that abolishing the tax would be a loss to the country.

He also said to prevent the loss of income, the PH-led government would continue with the tax, which was put in place by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration in September last year.

Mohamaddin previously said the government would review the need for the tourism tax and ensure that it did not jeopardise the arrival of tourists to the country.

It was also reported yesterday that the government had collected RM146 million in tourism tax as of June 2018.