Focus Group Discussion With Minister Of Finance 22 July 2020

28 July 2020

Dear Members,
The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) led by Deputy President, Haji Mohd Akil Bin Mohd Yusof together with several Exco Members had attended a Focus Group Discussion with the Minister of Finance, YB Senator Tengku Dato' Sri Zafrul Bin Tengku Abdul Aziz on 22 July 2020 at the Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Office, Melaka International Trade Centre, Melaka.
MATTA had contributed its views and recommendations for the tourism industry to be considered in the National Budget 2021 for the Government to further help and support the tourism industry in the country in 2021,  to try overcome the Covid-19 pandemic now.

MATTA Deputy President Haji Mohd Akil Bin Mohd Yusof thanked the Minister for hosting the discussion which provided a platform for the industry to elaborate on the challenges faced by industry players and current situation of many tourism businesses. 

MATTA Honorary Secretary General Nigel Wong presented on MATTA’s National Budget 2021 Preliminary Proposals focusing on 5 key areas including:

1) Tourism Recovery Fund of RM10 Billion
    ► The fund is for the purpose of:
    i. Upgrading infrastructure
    ii. Working capital for promotions, marketing
    iii. Digitalisation
    iv. Business adjustment post Covid-19
   ► Bank Negara to support the flow and reducing the cost of credit through a term funding facility with the interest rate to be at 0.5% - 1.0% per annum

2) Taxation
    a. Losses carried backwards to past years
    b. Double deduction on company's local trip given to employees
    c. Double deduction on remuneration of staff for tour & travel industry
    d. Inbound tourism incentives
    e. Tax incentives for tourism vehicles
    f. Special income tax relief for domestic travel
    g. Double tax deduction for MICE events

3) Special Payroll Loan Facility
    a. Companies struggling to pay wages to earn immediate loan at 0% p.a. interest rate
    b. Less stringent credit risk assessment
    c. Loan facility to be drawn down only to pay salaries and wages

4) Enhance Protection and Preservation of Tourism Workforce
    ► To extend the Wage Subsidy Programme to a further 6 months until 30 June 2021
    ► To increase the allocation of RM 600 to RM 1,200 per month

5) Loan Moratorium Extension
    ► To extend the moratorium provided by the banks to a further 6 months

Excerpts from the discussion are also as follows:

• The need of data for economic planning as our current tourism numbers are not in sync with supply and demand
• Strict enforcement of laws and regulations for illegal tourism activities where the minister looked at it as an economic concern
• Letters to RMCD and MOF have been written and the issue was raised again on what is deemed as double taxation
• RM1 billion tourism financing will be out soon – delay is due to MOF renegotiating the terms with banks for more favourable terms for the industry
• Loan moratoriums are to be addressed at the industry level to ensure the assistance is given to the right parties
• MOF is also looking into reducing red tapes and addressing immediate issues of the industry

MATTA hopes that the Government will consider the many proposals that have been made and provide more assistance and support for the industry through the National Budget 2021.

Thank you.

President MATTA
Term 2019 - 2021