SIBU: Sarawak Central Region Hotel Association wants the music licence fee for budget hotels to be reduced.
The association said it was unfair for budget hotels to be asked to pay the same amount as bigger hotels.
Under the Copyright Act 1987, hotels and other businesses such as karaoke outlets, shopping centres, retail stores and entertainment outlets that use music have to pay an annual music licence.
The collection is done by Music Rights Malaysia Bhd (MRM) who will redistribute the royalties to its respective members who are made up of artistes, record labels and composers.
Association chairman Johnny Wong said that Malaysia Budget Hotel Association had signed an agreement with MRM which agreed that hotels with 25 rooms and above have to pay an annual music licence fee of RM150.
“There are many small hotels in the central region which have only about five rooms with TV but they will have to pay the annual licence fee of RM150,” he added.
Wong said there were even hotels that did not have television but had to pay the fee.
He hoped MRM would be more flexible in the ruling by imposing the right fee for small hotels.
On the mushrooming of illegal hotels and room-for-rent type facilities in town, Wong said the government should take appropriate action against them.
“We are not against anybody opening a hotel but their establishment must be properly set up and have a licence. Who will be responsible if something like a fire occurs in these hotels,” he asked.
Wong said it was high time now that action be taken against the illegal establishments or else there would be more such accommodations.
“The government needs to look into the matter immediately, not just in Sibu but throughout Sarawak,” he said.