The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry is reviewing its policies and laws to regulate the accommodation premises industry, especially unregistered hotel operators and online vacation home rental services.
Its Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said the policy was important in regulating short-term accommodation activities, besides ensuring collection of taxes.
“For example, Airbnb is not registered in Malaysia but in Singapore. When this platform is registered outside (of the country), we cannot collect taxes like Booking.com and Expedia.
“So, when they collect commissions from the hotels, they do not go through the real taxation process...so we lose,” he said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech for his Ministry at the Dewan Rakyat.
He said they were working together with private agencies to develop a supervisory framework for short-term accommodation.
Muhammad Bakhtiar also encouraged operators of accommodation premises to register for handling licences through the Tourism Industry Licensing System (SPIP) until another system was introduced.