MAH response to PEMULIH packagewhere2life | June 30, 2021 | 0 | Live , News , Special features , Spotlight
The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) stressed that the PEMULIH package announced by the Prime Minister again did not address specific needs of the tourism & hotel industry although the Prime Minister made special remarks on it being one of the most impacted sectors.
“Extension of electricity discount is needed but the fixed quantum of 10% is hardly sufficient and of insignificant amount considering average occupancy is at most 20% for the coming months due to extended travel restrictions.
“Key highlight of the initiative would be the extension of the Wage Subsidy Program for another four months, specifically two months for the 2nd phase of the Pelan Pemulihan Negara (PPN) and another two months for the 3rd phase for sectors on the negative list.
“This needs to be clarified as based on the announcement, it would be dependent on the country moving into the 2nd phase, and as for the 3rd phase, if hotels are included considering that it is not in the negative list but yet still heavily impacted due to travel restrictions,” said Dato N. Subramaniam, President of MAH in a press statement.
He also added that the removal of the salary cap of RM4,000 however, is much welcomed, as it allows employers to leverage on the subsidy for all levels of its employees now.
“Exemption on HRD Corp levy for another two months is also unclear for the hotel industry as it is stated as only for employers that are not operating during the MCO. Exemption up to December 2021 given to other industries newly added into the Act does not include the hotel industry as clarified by HRD Corp.
“Although the Government recognises the impact on the tourism industry, the one-off financial assistance of RM3,000 is only offered to travel & tour operators. Hotels are not included although sustaining heavy losses and cash flow burden.
“Extension of Tourism Tax and Service Tax exemption for hotels up to December 2021 on the other hand is needed to encourage spending although it is not a direct fiscal support. The industry will continue to provide on the ground data and updates to the Government to ensure timely decisions and strategies are implemented when the country progresses into the 4th phase of the PPN, to rebuild and restart tourism,” said Subramaniam.
Subramanam however, welcomed the “blanket” loan moratorium that could provide much needed relief to not only tourism and hotel businesses but more importantly the people of the industry. The moratorium however should be interest free to ensure borrowers do not fall into deeper debts.