Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng said the announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin fell short of industry's expectations.
"Having lost literally all revenue streams, the hotel industry was looking forward to more direct assistance, such as higher wage subsidies, higher electricity and water discounts and even discounts on assessments.
"Regretfully the tourism industry is being neglected again despite its contribution to the economy of the country, and is being left to collapse," said Yap.
In a special address, Muhyiddin announced a special discount of 10% on electricity bills from January to March 2021 to hotel operators nationwide.
"While the wage subsidy program is being extended to other industries, the government again failed to improve the programme for the tourism industry that had been most heavily impacted by the pandemic and more so by the recent MCO 2.0," said Yap.
MAH has consistently proposed 50% wage subsidy for those earning up to RM4,000 and 30% for those up to RM8,000.
The request, according to Yap, "fell on deaf ears" again.
"A higher wage subsidy program is much needed to keep hotels and tourism business afloat, without which more will be forced to retrench," Yap said.
He added that Malaysia is at risk of losing its competitiveness as a tourist destination.
"With no clear direction and forward plans for the tourism industry, there is little hope of survival," Yap said.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Budget Hotel Association (MyBHA) deputy president Dr Sri Ganesh Michiel called for a more targeted assistance for the hotel industry.
"We would like to request that the Government review and issue a special assistance package and more targeted initiatives especially for the tourism and hotel industry," he said.
Ganesh proposed that the wage subsidy programme be increased to RM1,200 and automatic moratorium assistance from banks to ensure the sustainability of hotel operators.
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