Postpone The Implementation Of Minimum Wage On Tourism Players – Warisan

KOTA KINABALU: Warisan questioned the move by the federal government to implement the newly increased minimum wage.

Warisan Luyang Branch Chief Samuel Wong, in a statement, said the implementation is untimely and inconsiderate especially towards hotel and tourism industry players.

“Warisan welcomes the reopening of our country’s borders but the federal government should know that domestic and international borders were only opened recently.”

“The federal government has to be realistic and sensitive towards the plight of tourism industry players.”

“Tourism is one of the sectors heavily hit by the pandemic. Many tourism players still face cash flow constraints.”

“They had struggled to pull through these two years as cash had been flowing out to refund entitled customers from cancellations. This is on top of monthly overheads such as salaries, rentals, utilities and loans.”

“The players are indeed grateful for the wage subsidy program and the low interest rate loans for SMEs which were given by the government, but as for now they are still recovering.”

“The government should instead extend assistance by offering loan moratorium for them to stay afloat, not burdening them with the new minimum wage implementation.”

“Postpone the implementation on tourism players, time is needed for the whole tourism industry to fully recover and this may only occur in 2023.”

“If the government doesn’t extend a ‘lifebuoy’ for these players, a domino effect may set in and this will affect the whole nation’s economy.”

In addition, Samuel also urged the government to take immediate action to weed out illegal travel agents and tour guides which were rampant especially in Sabah during pre-pandemic times.

“How can a licensed bona fide travel agents and tour guides compete with these illegals who do not pay licence fees, taxes, EPF, SOCSO, wages, office overheads etc?”

“The government must protect the legally licensed travel agents and tour guides now so that they can stand up on their feet once again, recovering from the battered tourism industry.”

“Laws are there but will the government enforce them? asked Samuel.