KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 ― Malaysians who stay in hotels rated three stars and below may be exempted from paying the controversial tourism tax.
Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said the government is looking into the matter now and is expected to make an announcement soon, The Star reported today.
“There are certain categories of people, such as locals, staying at three-star hotels and below who may be exempted.
“We are studying this and will be making an announcement soon,” he was quoted as saying to the press after launching the Global Entrepreneurship Competition here yesterday.
Mohd Irwan added that implementing the idea will not be a problem since the current tax collection system is already based on hotel ratings.
The government announced recently that hotels accross the board will have to begin collecting tourism tax at the rates of between RM2.50 and RM20 per room per night starting July 1.
The announcement triggered massive backlash from the hotel industry while the Sarawak and Sabah state governments have also voiced their opposition against the new policy.