Guan Eng: Departure levy only for air travellers leaving country

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that only air travellers leaving the country will be charged the departure levy that was tabled in Parliament yesterday. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that only air travellers leaving the country will be charged the departure levy that was tabled in Parliament yesterday. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that only air travellers leaving the country will be charged the departure levy that was tabled in Parliament yesterday.

Lim said the tax amount will only be decided at a later period as the government is putting the infrastructure in place first.

“It’s air [travel] only... Nothing related to road, nothing related to ports, only air travel outside Malaysia.

“We will be making the financial decision later, so this is just to put the infrastructure in place... We will not be implementing it so quickly... still a few more months,” he told reporters when met after the launch of the Credit Guarantee Corporation (CGC) SME Awards 2018 today.

Clause 9(1)(a) in the Departure Levy Bill states that anyone leaving Malaysia” by any operator” shall be subjected to the departure levy, except in a privately-owned vehicle, and may be charged up to RM40 each time if the Bill is passed in the Dewan Rakyat.

Lim, however, said the tax would also be applied to private jets too

“Some say if they own private jets, they would be exempted. No, they would be subjected to it as well,” he said.

As for those performing the haj or umrah pilgrimage, Lim said they can enjoy a one-time exemption from the departure levy, but subsequent travels may be subjected to the tax.

He said the rate will also be announced at a later date after the haj period, this year, which will be on August 9.

“If they go for haj or umrah one time, then they will be exempted... But we will announce the formula [later],” he said.

Earlier today, Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said that the levy would not be limited to air travel, and may be introduced to other forms of transport.

The Departure Levy Bill had underwent its second reading in Dewan Rakyat today.