The new ruling on cigarette and liquor sales as well as the tightening of tax exemption on imported vehicles in Langkawi, beginning August 1 has been met with widespread public criticism, said Langkawi Member of Parliament Nawawi Ahmad.
He said public outrage were expressed over the social media as they feared the duty-free status would be withdrawn.
“Those who have written that Langkawi’s duty-free status will be withdrawn have got it all wrong. The duty-free status will stay, only cigarette and liquor sales will be restructured to prevent leakages,” he said in Langkawi.
He said under the new ruling only 18 stores in Langkawi would be allowed to sell duty-free cigarettes and liquor, while owners of cars registered on the island must submit a bank guarantee before their vehicles could be brought out.
According to him, these measures would be enforced by the Customs Department and he was briefed on the matter in Langkawi last Monday.
Nawawi said he would be meeting with Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow to discuss views of local residents on the implementation of the new regulations.
When tabling the Revised Budget 2016 on January 28 last year, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announced that the government would restructure the selling channel of cigarettes and liquors as well as tighten tax exemption on imported vehicles in duty-free islands.
He said these measures would not affect the local population and tourists at the duty-free islands.