Sabah cabinet meeting to decide on tourism tax

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will decide on its stand on the federal tourism tax to be implemented on July 1 at a State Cabinet meeting, most probably next week, said Sabah Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun (pix).

The tax had created a new dynamics and a new challenge for the state government," he said in a statement today.

He said Sabah shared Sarawak's view that there had been little or no consultation with the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak prior to the enactment of the law on tourism tax, namely Tourism Tax Act 2017.

Masidi said Sabah would continue to work with Sarawak to find common ground by the two states on their engagement with the Federal Government in their endeavour to find a fair solution to the issue.

The tourism tax was proposed by the Federal Ministry of Tourism and Culture last year and the Sabah government objected to the proposal and had accordingly informed the relevant authority at the federal level.

Masidi also said that the recent withdrawal of Sarawak's representative from the Board of Directors of the Malaysia Tourism Board (MTB) had been misinterpreted as opting out of the tourism tax regime and many suggested that Sabah should follow suit.

"Withdrawal from MTB does not equal to opting out of the provisions of the new Act nor does it amount to rejecting it.

"MTB does not decide tourism policies or laws relating to tourism. It is the marketing or promotional arm of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture," he said. — Bernama