Lawyer files suit against government over ‘unconstitutional’ departure levy

Last Friday, Lim said that travellers who fly out from Malaysia will have to pay tax in the form of a departure levy ranging from RM8 to RM150 starting from September 1. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa
Last Friday, Lim said that travellers who fly out from Malaysia will have to pay tax in the form of a departure levy ranging from RM8 to RM150 starting from September 1. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

IPOH, August 9 — A lawyer is suing the government over the recent departure levy imposed on Malaysians travelling overseas, claiming that this is unconstitutional in nature.

According to Free Malaysia Today, R. Kengadharan, in his originating summons filed at the High Court yesterday, said the Departure Levy Act 2018 and the Departure Levy Order 2019 is in breach of his fundamental right to travel.

The lawyer said the levy cannot be enforced and is seeking a declaration, accusing the government of breaching Article 5 (1) of the Federal Constitution and infringing on his personal liberty.

The online news portal said that the lawyer has named Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Putrajaya as defendants to his action in the suit filed by Messrs Srimurugan & Co.

Last Friday, Lim said that travellers who fly out from Malaysia will have to pay tax in the form of a departure levy ranging from RM8 to RM150 starting from September 1.

Kengadharan, who often travels overseas to meet with clients and perform pilgrimages in India, said that he is unhappy with the levy.

He said that any form of additional tax imposed on top of the existing service and airport taxes would be burdensome and harsh.

In his affidavit to support the suit, he said any form of tax imposed, including on those who wish to go on pilgrimages or to perform the Haj, is in violation of the fundamental liberties guaranteed in the constitution.

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