PUTRAJAYA, April 23 – The government has decided that the hotel and restaurant industry can impose service charge as practised previously, said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad.
However, he said only hotels or restaurants with collective agreements (CA) with workers unions or as provided for under the workers’ contract can impose the charge. “They are required to display a notice that service charge is imposed at their premises for consumers to decide whether they wanted to partonise the outlet .
“KPDNKK will be issuing a standard notice to be adopted by these premises but for the time being, such premises could put up their own notices,” he told a media conference on Goods and Services Tax (GST) here today. According to him, the matter was among the agreements reached in a joint meeting of government departments, unions of hotel and restaurant, workers and consumer associations on Monday.
Alias said a standard regulation on service charge has also been submitted to the Attorney General’s Chambers for approval and is expected to be issued soon. He said a follow-up study would be conducted to propose new legislation to regulate service charge in future, especially from the aspect of consumerism.
According to him, KPDNKK has also not set the rate of service charge to be imposed and it is up to the hotels abd restaurants to fix their respective rates up to a maximum of 10 per cent. “Currently the average service charge rate in the country is 10 per cent and GST is imposed on top of the charge,” he said.
Alias said the meeting was also told that hotel and restaurant industry employees collect service charge to accommodate the low basic salary of workers, which could be as low as RM350 despite the implementation of the minimum wage policy. Commenting on anti-profiteering operations conducted since the imposition of GST, Alias said KPDNKK would be drawing up new strategies to go to the ground in small towns and rural areas starting this weekend.
“We will focus on hawkers at night markets as there are traders who raise prices arbitrarily,” he said. He added that since April 1, 139,425 premises were inspected and 30 investigation papers were being finalised before submitting to the public prosecutor next week.