Remember when the government announced that all international and local tourists were supposed to be charged with a tourist tax and everyone went into an uproar over it? While they have since established the most important part, that Malaysians are exempt from paying the taxes, it seems that travellers have another new charge to contend with.
According to The Edge Markets, the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) has recently confirmed that they are planning to charge all travellers leaving Malaysian airports with a RM1 levy. However, passengers flying with Rural Air Services (RAS) in Sabah and Sarawak will be exempted.
Apparently, MAVCOM says that they are planning to impose this levy because the government has decided to cease their funding by 2018, after two years. In an attempt to be financially independent to fund their operations, MAVCOM has officially submitted amendments on the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2016, which will be tabled and read in the next Parliament sitting in October.
Based on the number of passengers departing from Malaysia in 2016, MAVCOM can expect to take in RM21.81 million a year if the levy is passed. While RM1 may seem like a nominal fee, MAVCOM is also looking into equalising passenger service charge (PSC) among all local airports starting next January.
Wait, what does this even mean? It means that we may have to pay more for our flight tickets next year as MAVCOM seeks to increase the charges.
MAVCOM chief operating officer Azmir Zain said,
“The international PSC for destinations beyond Asean in KLIA 2 is still lower in comparison with KLIA and other airports. A complete equalisation, which we are currently reviewing this year, will potentially result from [the current] RM50 to increase to RM73.“
That’s because the rates in KLIA and KLIA 2 international airports are different for international flights but fixed at RM35 for Asean destinations, as reported by Channel News Asia. This move has been in effect since January 2017 and offers savings of RM30 to passengers travelling to Asean destinations as they’ve lowered the price from RM65 to RM35.
However, Azmir assured that the PSC would still remain among the lowest rates in the world. We sure hope so! The Malaysian Reserve reports that Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi said, “A regulator’s fee is normal in other countries and we are being very reasonable by charging a minimal RM1 on each passenger.”
The amendments to the bill also includes widening the power of MAVCOM and giving them more authority to administer and manage air traffic rights for both domestic and international routes.
What do you think of this new amendment?
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