Scrap cigarette tax, urges Langkawi group


Tourism and retail stakeholders in Langkawi will be sending a petition to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to reconsider making cigarettes taxable items, saying the move would affect the economy of the duty-free island resort.

The petition was signed by 24 entities comprising non-governmental organisations, businesses and retail associations, trade groups, malls and hotels at a ceremony at a hotel.

Group spokesperson Ooi Cheng Keat said the stakeholders came together to voice their plight for the sake of tourism on the island.

He said the pandemic and movement control order had crippled Langkawi’s economy since March last year, adding that the island had not seen any improvement.

“We want the Government to address this matter urgently as Langkawi depends a lot on tourism as a source of revenue.

“Scrapping the duty-free status of cigarettes will affect traders and visitors may not have a reason to visit the island anymore.”

Ooi said stakeholders on the island were invited for consultations prior to the Budget announcement last year but their proposals were not entertained.

“Thousands of people in Langkawi have lost their jobs and many businesses had to close.”

Ooi said the move to implement the cigarette tax would affect the livelihood of more than 4,000 people in the tourism and retail industries of the island.

The group is also appealing for the current 48-hour stay requirement for duty-free entitlement to be reduced to 24 hours to encourage more tourists.

Currently, visitors who purchase non-taxable items in Langkawi need to be on the island for at least two days before they can take the items out.

Last year, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz announced that the excise duty for cigarettes sold at duty-free islands would be on par with other cigarette taxes starting 2021.

The Government, however, delayed imposing a tobacco tax until March 31.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Next In Metro News

Elevating residents’ living condition
Funds to help institutions provide a good learning environment
Aiming to give more laptops to needy kids
Marvellous digital realm
Keeping children active with traditional games
Taman Intan Baiduri bridges in need of urgent repairs
New rules for micromobility vehicles
A touching tribute to mothers
Traders happy with June 1 relocation
Sibu market to close again for four days

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers