Sarawak Wants Putrajaya’s Clarification On Departure Levy

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KARIM RAHMAN

SIBU: Sarawakians commuting from Miri to Limbang and Lawas via Brunei are unsure of whether they would be imposed the departure levy to be enforced on Sept 1.

In this regard, Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah hoped the federal government would provide a clearer picture of the situation.

“If it also covers these people, imagine how much they would have to pay. It would burden them,” he said while launching the Sarawak Matta Fair at Dewan Suarah Sibu.

In a directive gazetted by the Federal Government on July 31, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng set the departure levy for ASEAN countries at RM8 for economy class flight and RM50 for other classes.

For non-ASEAN countries, the rate is RM20 for economy class flight and RM150 for other classes.

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim said the state was striving to reach its target of five million tourist arrivals in 2019 through its Visit Sarawak campaign and various international events.

“This August we have the Kuching International Marathon which is expected to draw 10,000 people, of whom 30 per cent are from Brunei, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Kenya and Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.

He urged industry players to find new ideas to attract more tourists to the state and assured them of government backing.