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By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, May 28: The National Finance Council (NFC)’s decision to give state governments 50 per cent of the tourism tax collected from the states is nothing new as that had been practised by the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration previously, said Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
The NFC’s decision was announced by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.
Dr Mahathir, who is also the chairman of the council, told a press conference that the allocation would be able to help each state to maintain, promote and market their respective tourist destinations.
Abdul Karim said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government was merely following what the BN government did and that what Dr Mahathir mentioned yesterday was “just to reiterate about the tax collected from foreigners”.
Speaking at the Rainforest World Music Festival 2019 press conference today, Abdul Karim said, “We thank PH for continuing the previous administration’s commitment on this matter after they took over the federal government. Otherwise, every state will be making a lot of noise if all the tourism tax is taken away.”
He hoped Sarawak would receive more this year because the Sarawak had recorded higher and better tourist arrivals between January to April, compared to last year.
Last year, Sarawak managed to get about RM2.7 million.
He added that the state genuinely needed the 50 per cent share to intensify tourism promotion efforts, refurbish tourism facilities and to build tourism infrastructure in the state. — DayakDaily