ALOR GAJAH June 7 — Tourism industry players in the state should take full advantage of the tourism tax exemption beginning this July, to revive domestic business and tourism activities severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, says Chief Minister Datuk Sulaiman Md Ali.
He welcomed the initiative under the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA), especially for Melaka, as the tourism sector was the biggest contributor to the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“I have previously met with travel agencies in the state and during the meeting, they requested tax cuts be considered to help those affected by the current situation.
“As such, we welcome the full tax exemption to be given, and hope that all industry players will study and understand the initiative so that none of them are left out of the effort to revitalize the state’s economy,” he told reporters after visiting the Masjid Tanah Market here, yesterday.
On Friday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when announcing PENJANA said the tourism tax would be fully exempted from this July to June 30 next year, as part of efforts to revive the country’s tourism industry.
The media previously reported that three hotels in the state had announced they were shutting operations following the COVID-19 outbreak.
In another development, Sulaiman said the state government would study the employment requirements of foreign workers in various sectors in the state so as not to affect employment opportunities for locals.
He said this was to ensure that the vacancies left by foreign workers could be filled by locals, and that the industries involved were not affected or stunted.
“This will be explored with the Local Authorities and other agencies in terms of the number of foreign workers and the need for them in the sectors involved. Most importantly, we will follow the decision made at the central level, especially on foreign workers’ issues,” he said.
Elaborating, Sulaiman said the review did not mean denying the contribution of foreign workers to the development of the state, especially in the construction and industrial sectors, but ensuring that the sectors involved were not monopolised by them.
“Most of these sectors involve 3D ‘Dirty-Dangerous-Difficult’ jobs which are less popular among locals,” he said when asked to comment on the state government’s stand on the issue of recruiting foreign workers in the state.