They want your money, and they want it now!
The new tourism tax, which was scheduled to be enforced from 1 August onwards
, has been moved forward: hotel operators were told to collect the tax from 1 July instead
Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz told Bernama
in a news report that the government wants the new tax system to be implemented sooner rather than later.
"The gazette (on Tourism Tax) is automatic, in accordance with the country's procedures, when it is approved by the parliament. If we want to say it has not been gazetted, that's right, but it cannot prevent the will of our MPs who have unanimously approved to implement this tax, and it will be implemented.
“So our target is Jul 1," he was quoted by the news agency as saying.
Mohamed Nazri also laughed off reports saying that the implementation of the tourism tax will be postponed.
Initially, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department's website stated that the tourism tax will officially be implemented in August. Strangely, the page containing the details has reportedly been pulled down.
Under the new tourism tax, tourists - be it foreigners or Malaysians - are required to pay an additional RM2.50 to RM20 per hotel room.
This is on top of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and service charge you will still need to pay.
The tax will reportedly be collected from all types of premises used as accomodation for tourists, whether it is a five-star hotel or a budget hostel.