Malaysian Parliament passes Bill in marathon 20-hr session

In a historic development, the Malaysian Parliament passed the Tourism Tax Bill in a marathon session that lasted for 20 hours, ending on Thursday morning at 5:05 am, setting a new record for the longest Parliament session.

The Tourism Tax Bill 2017 was passed with a large majority. Winding up the debate for the bill, Mohamed Nazri, Tourism and Culture Minister, said revenue from Tourism Tax would be in the region of RM654.62 million if the overall occupancy rate for the 11 million 'room night' in the country can achieve 60 per cent.

Malaysian Parliament passed the Tourism Tax Bill in a marathon session that lasted for 20 hours.
Malaysian Parliament passed the Tourism Tax Bill in a marathon session that lasted for 20 hours. Photo courtesy: azminali.com

Earlier in 2015, the Malaysian Parliament (Dewan Rakyat) set a record for the longest session when it was adjourned at 4.25 am.

According to the provisions of the Bill, the government will impose tourism tax on a tourist staying at any accommodation premise made available by an operator at the rate fixed by the minister in accordance with the law.

With the passing of the Bill, it will be the duty of a tourist to pay tourism tax to the operator of the accommodation premises.

Mohamed Nazri said, “With proper promotion and 80 per cent occupancy rate, RM872.82 million can be collected. The tax collected can provide a sustainable fund every year to develop the tourism industry and ensure tourism becomes even more competitive.”

He added, “Tourism Tax would be collected from all types of premises used as accommodation for tourists, except homestay and Kampung Stay registered under the ministry, premises managed by institutions (education), premises used for training purposes and religious institutions where such facilities are not used for commercial purposes.”

Earlier, the  Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill 2017, Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2017, Self-Employment Social Security Bill 2017, Private Higher Educational Institutions (Amendment) Bill 2017, Labuan Business Activity Tax (Amendment) Bill 2017), were also passed.

Author
Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.

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