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Fine of up to RM1 million proposed for those who try to avoid Malaysia departure levy

Fine of up to RM1 million proposed for those who try to avoid Malaysia departure levy

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). (Photo: AFP)

KUALA LUMPUR: Anyone who tries to avoid or help others dodge a new departure levy for passengers flying out of Malaysia could soon face a fine of up to RM1 million (US$244,000).

This was among the penalties set out in the Departure Levy Bill, which was tabled for the first time in parliament on Monday (Apr 8).

The levy was proposed last November during the budget announcement. 

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had said that it will cost RM20 for travellers departing for ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, and RM40 each for those travelling to other countries. If approved, the levy is expected to start on Jun 1.

READ: Malaysia's new government sets bigger budget, cuts fiscal targets

However, the amount of the proposed levy was not set out in the Bill that was tabled on Monday by Deputy Finance Minister Amiruddin Hamzah.

The Bill stated that a fine could be imposed on anyone who tries to avoid or help others evade the departure levy, such as by giving false statements or by fraud. 

If convicted, the individual could be fined up to RM1 million, jailed for up to five years, or both.

Anyone who gives incorrect information that affects his or her dependent from being imposed the departure levy could also be fined up to RM500,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.

It will also be an offence not to provide reasonable assistance to customs officers, punishable by a jail term of between six months and three years, a fine of up to RM500,000, or both.

The Bill is scheduled for a second reading during this sitting of parliament.

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