Visitors to Langkawi can now buy up to RM1,000 tax-free

Mahathir, who is also Langkawi MP, said the move was to encourage more tourist arrivals on the island. (File pic)

LANGKAWI: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today declared the purchase limit of taxable goods for tourists from the mainland shopping in Langkawi has been raised from RM500 to RM1,000.

Mahathir, who is also Langkawi MP, said the move was to encourage more tourist arrivals on the island, thus uplifting the socio-economic status of the residents there.

“I have not yet got the approval of my colleagues in the government on how much the people from the mainland can purchase in Langkawi and bring to the mainland.

“But even though I have yet to get approval, I still want to declare here that we will allow tourists from the mainland who shop in Langkawi not to pay taxes (if they spend up to) RM1,000, not RM500 (previously),” he said when officiating the Langkawi parliamentary constituency’s service centre in Langkawi City here today.

However, he said the limit did not include items such as liquor and cigarettes that are harmful to health.

Mahathir, who reiterated his assurance that the island would retain its duty-free status, said Langkawi despite being well-known as a world tourist destination still needed more investments from outside.

“We still need a lot of investors to implement projects and build factories, so that the people in Langkawi can have job opportunities and wages, thus raising their income, but they have to work hard.

“The previous government was happy despite not doing any work, they gave money… But we don’t steal money. If we don’t steal money, it is difficult for us to give money free of charge.

“Nevertheless, I am confident the people of Langkawi are hard-working. They will work and get good salaries from their employers.”

Hence, he urged the residents in the parliamentary constituency to be hospitable and treat well the tourists visiting Langkawi for holidays to further enhance the island’s image and draw more tourists.

Earlier, Mahathir visited the service centre in Langkawi City and mingled with more than 500 people at the event.