Government's responsibility to provide funding to promote Sabah tourism

KOTA KINABALU: It is the "duty and responsibility'' of the Federal Government to assist Sabah in all areas, including providing funding for tourism, says Datuk Pang Nyuk Ming.

The state tourism, environment and culture assistant minister was responding to a statement by Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz, who said Sabah and Sarawak might not get funding from his ministry if they did not implement a proposed tourism service fee of between RM5 and RM30 on each hotel room booking.

"To threaten to stop tourism funding from his (Nazri) ministry to Sabah if we do not implement his proposal is truly uncalled for and against the fundamentals of the Federal Government,'' said Pang amid calls from Sabah hoteliers and tourism players urging the Government to abandon its plans.

He said the state had contributed immensely to Federal Government coffers via taxes, duties and oil revenues since Malaysia was formed.

Pang claimed Sabah had successfully built its tourism industry into a major pillar of its economy over the last two decades, with little help coming from the Tourism Ministry.