Tuesday, 6 September 2016
LABUAN: The Finance Ministry (MOF) is still undecided over the proposed Customs’ new ruling on the outflow of Labuan- and Langkawi-registered vehicles to the mainland.
Deputy Finance Minister 1, Datuk Othman Aziz, said his ministry would bring up the various grouses from the concerned parties to the meeting of the newly-established special task force.
The task force was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi last month, who is also the chairman, to tackle the various development issues plaguing the island and the people.
“The new ruling had been thoroughly discussed. But it is important to look at the reality of the current economic situation here.
“I will bring up the issue and brief the chairman of the task force before any decision on the new ruling is made,” he told Bernama here today.
Othman was on one-day working day visit to Labuan Royal Customs Department and Labuan Financial Services Authority to attend the briefing on the performances of the two agencies.
Othman said the ministry did not want to come up with any policy that would press or burden the people and worsen the economic situation.
“The task force is established to look into better and effective solution for Labuan’s sustainable development and survival in the long run,” he said.
He said the government would assist Labuan ‘to stay afloat’ after being badly affected by the slowdown of oil and gas sector.
“We want to see the island’s economy thriving with increased investments and tourist arrivals. The continuous economic crisis may have direct impact on the people’s well-being and livelihood and many will lose their jobs and that will lead to various social ills, which must be prevented,” he said.
He said both Labuan and Langkawi MPs had their own committees to look into the issue and had given their views on the proposed ruling.
“As of now, there is no definite decision on the new ruling. With the current economy slowdown in Labuan which is heavily relied on the affected oil and gas sector, we believe the task force headed by deputy premier should be able to come up with better solution that will not burden the people,” he said.
Othman said the task force would be furnished with the inputs from all parties concerned, including from his ministry, on the restriction of the number of free-duty-shops in the two free-duty islands, beside the movements of the vehicles registered on the islands under the ruling.
Source by: Bernama