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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

More tax incentives needed to support sports events, says minister


Hannah Yeoh said the youth and sports ministry will organise a ‘one-stop centre open day’ every month together with the relevant ministries for the benefit of sports event organisers. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The youth and sports ministry has called for more tax incentives to be offered to organisers and corporate sponsors of sports events.

Youth and sports minister Hannah Yeoh said she will discuss the matter with the finance ministry before the tabling of Budget 2023, which is slated for Feb 24.

“I will discuss this with the finance ministry, because when the budget allocations (for sporting events) are limited and there is little incentive offered to free up organisers to obtain their own sponsorship, the sports industry will die,” she said at a press conference.

She said requests to the finance ministry for attractive tax incentives in previous years have not been successful, adding that “critical action” was needed now.

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She was commenting on the issues raised by industry players after the ministry’s fifth town hall with them.

She said other issues raised include the complications that arise when organisers need to obtain permits from multiple ministries and authorities.

Yeoh announced that beginning in February, the ministry will organise a “one-stop centre open day” every month together with the relevant ministries so that sports event organisers and stakeholders can meet them all at once.

The Segambut MP said the industry also highlighted the inconsistencies of conditions imposed by local governments with regard to the operation of sports facilities.

She gave the example of how licensing fees are disproportionately charged, as it is not based on the type of industry.

“For instance, the licensing fee calculation is based on square feet. As such, a gym, which takes up more room, has to pay more than a tobacco retail outlet, which takes up far less space.

“This is no longer in line with the government’s objective to promote a healthy lifestyle among the people,” she said.

Yeoh said the stakeholders in the sports industry have also asked for cheaper insurance schemes, in particular for high-risk sports like rugby. - FMT

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