LC To Hold Hearing With Business Chambers On Business Licence Revision

LABUAN: The Labuan Corporation (LC) will be holding a hearing with local business chambers this month prior to the implementation of the proposed business licence revision beginning January 2021.

This culminates from an objection from the business chambers consisting of the Malaysian Malay Chamber of Commerce (DPPMM) Labuan, Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Kadazandusun Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the proposal.

“The hearing will allow them to voice any concerns they have and ask questions about the proposed adjustment,” LC licensing officials told Bernama.

They said the revision would not only mean a fee increase but also reduction, especially on small and medium industries, such as reduction in trading licence charged on vendors operating business in kiosks like in the Financial Park Complex to RM17 from the existing RM25.

“There will be an upward revision, especially to those operating larger premises, but we have a reasonable maximum fee to be charged despite having large size business operating premises,” they said.

The officials also disclosed that the existing licence fee had not be revised for over a decade as LC is using the Sabah’s local government by-laws since Labuan was elevated as a Federal Territory in 1986.

Meanwhile, Chinese Chamber of Commerce president Datuk Wong Kii Yi said the business licence fee hike would discourage future growth and businesses.

“The possible hike in licence fee, especially to the industry players, retailers and eateries with larger premises will put them in a quandary and financially difficulties amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen the number of customers dwindling… it is going to hurt us competitively,” he said.

He said instead of increasing the business licence fee, LC should encourage businesses and get them to pay taxes more promptly, adding that by imposing more regulations, it would also hurt businesses as operations would slow down.

The chambers handed over a memorandum objecting to the proposal and requesting for its postponement to Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa during the latter’s visit to Labuan last week.

The chambers objected the implementation of a new business licence fee consisted of the Licensing of Trades, Businesses and Industries (Federal Territory of Labuan) By-Laws 2016 and Licensing of Food Establishments (Federal Territory of Labuan) By-Laws 2016, claiming any possible hike in the business licensing fee would put businesses in a jeopardy.

Currently any individual who wants to start a business is required to posses an LC trading licence with a minimum annual fee of RM25 and to the maximum of RM1,800, depending on the business premises’ size.