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Tourism tax to stay, says minister

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KUALA LUMPUR — The tourism tax imposed on foreigners for hotel rooms is unlikely to be scrapped, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said yesterday.

He said a review of the RM10 tax for a room a night is still under way, adding the review will help determine if it is necessary to retain it.

“I would not say we will scrap the tax for now,” he told reporters at the ministry’s Hari Raya open house at the Malaysia Tourism Centre.

“There must be some benefit to the country if we choose to scrap the tax.

“But if scrapping the tax will cause the nation to lose out, then we will not.

“We will hold discussions with the Finance Ministry and key players from the tourism industry on how best to proceed.”

Mohammadin said the same would apply for any existing tourism and culture policies implemented by the previous government.

“Policies that are good will be retained, and those found wanting will be adjusted or rectified accordingly,” he said.

In May, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents president Datuk Tan Kok Liang called for the aboltion of the tax, saying its collection was “counterproductive”.