IPOH, April 22 — The Perak state government together with the Finance Ministry is detailing the list of items that would benefit from the duty-free status of Pangkor before the proclamation of the island as a Duty-Free Island (PBC) on January 1, 2020, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
Additionally, Ahmad Faizal said his office believed that the tourism industry development in Pangkor needed to be taken care of accordingly so that it would be suitable for family tourism.
“With regard to the item list and tax exemption in Pangkor, the state government is currently detailing the matter with the Ministry of Finance.
“Indeed, the matter voiced by Pangkor (Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir) will be prioritised in the discussion because we need to have the same opinion in this matter,” he said during the oral question session of the 14th State Legislative Assembly at the Perak Darul Ridzuan Building here today.
Ahmad Faizal was responding to the additional question from Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir (BN-Pangkor) who wanted to know whether the original proposal to exclude cigarettes and liquor on the resort island would be retained in order to maintain the island as a family duty-free destination.
In addition, Ahmad Faizal (Bersatu-Chenderiang) advised Pangkor residents not to sell their land but to collaborate with the government or the private sector to develop the island as the main tourism hub in the state.
“The Pangkor as a PBC executive committee needs to give specific focus on the issue of project structure and to educate the people not to sell their land,” he said when answering additional questions from Teoh Yee Chern (DAP-Astaka).
Ahmad Faizal explained that the Finance Ministry through a letter dated January 22 had agreed to turn the Pangkor town jetty as a public tourist jetty, while the jetty in Sungai Pinang Besar would be made as a cargo jetty.
He said the ministry was also in the process of amending several subsidiary acts and legislation including the Customs Act 1967, the Excise Act 1976, Sales Tax Act 2018, Service Tax Act 2018 and Free Zone Act 1990.
“The state government is coordinating the relevant aspects of implementation including the need for an Immigration, Customs and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) and other priority projects.
“This is to enable Pangkor as a PBC to be strategically developed and integrated for the benefits of the people of Perak,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah during the opening of the state assembly on April 16, said that efforts to help locals benefit from the duty-free status should be one of the development agendas of Pangkor to ensure the residents will not suffer the same fate as Lebai Malang who suffered disappointment while others reaped the benefits. — Bernama