KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Of the RM135.5 million collected last year from tourism tax, the federal government returned half or a total of RM67.74 million to state governments, according to finance minister Lim Guan Eng.
In a statement, Lim said his ministry had distributed 50% of the tourism tax collected to all state governments by the end of this month as promised, with Sabah topping the list. “The land below the wind” received RM12.67 million of the RM25.34 million collected, about five times more than neighbouring Sarawak which received RM2.58 million (of RM5.16 million).
Penang was returned RM10.98 million, followed by Selangor RM10.30 million and Johor RM7.99 million. The smallest state, Perlis, received RM0.02 million.
Lim said the federal government had fulfilled its promise to the states, and that Sarawak had also received its due, contrary to allegations by its state tourism, art, culture, youth and sports minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah that the state had been left out.