KUCHING: The state government has no plan to impose the Heritage Tax on Sarawakians as it does not want to add to their burden.
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who confirmed this yesterday, said the state government could do it but chose not to burden the people further.
“We can also do it, but then we don’t want to burden people more because when they see the bill, there would be so many taxes – GST (Goods and Services Tax), Tourism Tax, services tax, Heritage Tax. It’s not really good for the industry,” he told reporters after launching the ‘Paint The World (PTW) Concert 2017’ at the civic centre here yesterday.
Abdul Karim assured all that the state is not going to charge extra tax in order to not dampen the development of its tourism industry.
According to him, four states in Malaysia are presently imposing the Heritage Tax on users.
“There are four places in Malaysia that are already charging this (Heritage Tax) — Langkawi, Penang, Malacca and Sabah.
“It comes under different names, either as Heritage Tax or room tax — and the money goes to the local government,” he added.
Abdul Karim made these comments in response to an exclusive report by a national Chinese daily, which quoted Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz as saying that Sarawak could implement the Heritage Tax if the state government wanted to.
According to the report, Mohamed Nazri said Sarawak had the right to impose the tax similar to Penang and Malacca, but the state could not stop the federal government from implementing the Tourism Tax.