KUALA LUMPUR (April 9): The Government is not in a hurry to implement the departure levy as it needs a few more months to come out with the formula, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Instead, it was focusing on putting the right infrastructure in place and making a final decision on the tax rate, he said.
“It may take a while before we announce the rate — maybe after this year's haj season. Furthermore, Muslims performing the umrah or haj for the first time will be exempted from the levy,” he told reporters after attending the SME Awards 2018 organised by Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd here today.
He added that members of other religions who were flying for religious purposes for the first time would also be exempted from the tax.
It was reported that Malaysians flying out of the country would be imposed a fee after the Departure Levy Bill 2019 is passed in Parliament.
The Bill was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah for the first reading yesterday. The amount of the proposed levy, however, was not mentioned in the Bill.
When tabling the 2019 Budget, Lim had proposed that a departure levy be imposed starting June 1, 2019, at a rate of RM20 per person for those flying to Asean countries and RM40 to other countries.
Asked on the Felda White Paper, to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat tomorrow by Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Lim said he would let the Minister make the announcement first.
“But as the Government, we have to support both Felda and Tabung Haji...which the previous Government had done everything wrong that caused such huge losses (for the institutions),” he added.
The White Paper will propose a new business model for the management of Felda farms and shed light on past acts of malpractice.