PETALING JAYA: Tourism, arts and culture minister Tiong King Sing has urged tourism industry players to continue using the ringgit when charging tourists for accommodation and other services.
Responding to a proposal by the Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (Maho) to impose charges on tourists in US dollars, Tiong said it would not be a wise move in the long run.
“I believe we must have confidence in our own country and remember that although the US dollar is strong now, we don’t know how long the currency’s value will remain high,” he said in a Bernama report.
“Who knows, one day everyone might no longer want to use the currency … What would happen then?
“We know that in some countries, the US dollar is not stable due to several banks having closed down.
“We understand this situation (the depreciation of the ringgit against the US dollar), and that is why Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is doing his best to find ways to resolve this issue,” he said when met at a Malaysia Budget & Business Hotel Association (MyBHA) event here.
Earlier today, Bernama reported that US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell had hinted of possible interest rate hikes in the future, causing the ringgit to close lower against the US dollar, its fourth consecutive day of decline.
At 6pm, the local note ended at 4.6525/4.6580 against the greenback compared with 4.6430/4.6470 yesterday.
Yesterday, Maho president Teo Chiang Hong called on industry players to support a suggestion to the tourism, arts and culture ministry to have USD-denominated quotes for rooms.
He questioned why Malaysia did not quote its foreign tourists in US dollars given that its regional neighbours like Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia were already doing so.