Why Was Rm413 000 From Tourism Tax Given To Comics Museum Asks Penang Mca
The Penang Asia Comic Cultural Museum at Komtar.GEORGE TOWN: The MCA today asked why the Penang government has allocated more than RM400,000 from tourism tax returns to pay rental for a comics museum run by “Superman” Hew Kuan Yau in Komtar this year.
Former DAP member Hew is called Superman as he is always seen in a Superman T-shirt.
The party referred to a state assembly reply dated Oct 12 stating RM413,940 had been allocated as “rental” for the Penang Asia Comic Cultural Museum.
According to the reply, the funds are from a RM20.1 million federal tourism tax given to Penang for 2018 and 2019, of which RM11.9 million had been allocated for 50 programmes as at Sept 30, which includes the museum.
Bukit Mertajam MCA Youth chief Tan Yang Pang said at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the funds would be better used elsewhere.
“RM400,000 can be given to 800 jobless people, where each could get RM500. The money could have been used for better purposes, perhaps to help those affected by the slump in the tourism industry due to Covid-19,” he told reporters at Komtar today
Tan, who is also the party’s national youth deputy organising secretary, said the museum, a private entity, should be left to fend for itself.
“How come other private museums have not received allocations from the state,” he asked. He and the other representatives of the party later sent a letter to the chief minister asking for an explanation.
Last October, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the museum’s rental would be paid until the end of December as part of an agreement signed in 2016. He had also denied claims that it was owned by the Penang government.
He said the agreement was to bring in the museum as a unique tourism product to rejuvenate Komtar as an administrative, civic and shopping district. He said in return, the museum was to give free tickets to schoolchildren and hotels.
When contacted, Hew told FMT that a statement on the issue raised by MCA would be posted on the museum’s Facebook page tomorrow. - FMT
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