KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tourism Board (STB) clarified that the state government has received its 50 per cent share of the tourism tax collected last year.
“STB wishes to clarify that the Sabah state government received RM12.67 million from the Federal Government in March this year.
“The amount is 50 per cent of the tourism tax collected for the year ending 2018,” the board said in a statement issued yesterday.
Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw on Tuesday claimed that the state government had yet to receive last year’s tourism tax revenue and had urged the federal government to disburse the funds needed to develop the tourism industry.
Meanwhile, Liaw said he had asked an STB officer whether the tourism tax revenue had been released to the state government when met the latter at the Budget 2020 dialogue with the Finance Minister at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa in September this year.
“I was referring to the tourism tax collected last year though I did not mention the year 2018 specifically.”
Liaw said he had assumed that this year’s tourism tax revenue would not have been released yet since there were still a few months left to the end of the year.
“The officer could have thought I was referring to the tourism tax this year.
“His answer was no,” he explained, which led to the misunderstanding.
“Since the Federal Government has disbursed the said sum to Sabah government, I apologise for the miscommunication and misunderstanding.”