Tax will be imposed on outbound travellers starting June

Starting from June 2019, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng revealed that travellers will be taxed for flying overseas from Malaysia. Those flying to ASEAN countries will be imposed RM20 tax, while for countries outside ASEAN the tax will be RM40.


According to Clause 9(1)(a) of the bill, anyone leaving Malaysia by “any operator” shall be subjected to the departure levy.


Initial reaction from the announcement confused certain people. Ayer Hitam MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong raised concerns for the improperly worded bill along with its broad details. Thus, he asked for the bill to be withdrawn and amended.


The bill also defines operators as: any person who operates any vehicle to carry any person leaving Malaysia. Which could mean any transportation services like trains, cruise ships, and chartered vehicles crossing any borders.


Not long after, Lim clarified to the public that the departure levy will only be imposed on air travellers including those on private jets.


On the other hand, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah recently said a proposal to set up exemptions for travellers will be given to the ministry for consideration.


In detail, the proposed exemptions will be given to children under 24 months, and for those performing Haj or Umrah pilgrimage (these would be a one-time exemption), and for foreign tourists who are transiting in the airport.


According to the statistics by CEIC data, outbound travellers from Malaysia increased significantly since the early 2000s. And there is a steep incline of travellers departing from KLIA for the past few years.


Malaysia, Malaysia Indicator, tax, traveller, tourism, Lim Guan Eng, Mohamaddin Ketapi


Lim assured the tax was not more or similar to other countries’ charges, as Thailand charges US$20 (RM83), Hong Kong US$15 (RM63), and Japan US$10 (RM42) to their travellers.


In agreement, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said the tax is less likely to have any impact on the tourism industry of Malaysia. In fact, he said the money will aid the development in Malaysia along with its people.