THE International Business and Financial Centre (IBFC) formally the LOFSA means a jurisdiction that offers liberal operating environment and low rates of tax as well as ensures confidentiality of investors’ information. Currently, there are more than 70 IBFCs around the world and most of them are located in Europe and the Caribbean.
But is this true that the IBFC is also a bench mark for immigrants to come to the country and set up bogus offshore company while getting the approvals from the immigration departments to stay in the country legally and obtaining work permits to operate onshore business locally here?
It has been known that some foreigners are actually abusing their permits by doing this and the relevant departments are very much aware of it. It’s all under the umbrella of Labuan IBFC! There are a total of 130 expatriates given such Work Permits applied under the Labuan Trust Companies that entitles them to stay here and trade. Meaning once the permit is issued the holder can have his whole family here with him.
In general, Labuan companies are restricted from dealing with Malaysian residents in ringgit, except for defraying administrative and statutory expenses.
Quoted by the Labuan IBFC Chairman , the offshore regulator has continued to exercise vigilance in anti-money laundering and also said that ‘concrete efforts have been taken, including regular monitoring to ensure that businesses are genuine. In its annual report released in Kuala Lumpur recently it was stated an increase to US$ 249.7 million from US$214.1 in 2008 before tax with its 54 active lenders
Labuan FSA is the role authority responsible for supervising Labuan business activities in Labuan and independent from domestic authorities, except for exchange control and tax matters which is administer by Central Bank of Malaysia and Inland Revenue Board, respectively.
Labuan FSA has implemented policies that facilitate the creation of a competitive and attractive business environment in Labuan. Labuan’s legislative framework is not only business-friendly but also prudent to safeguard Labuan’s international image as a clean and reputable international business and financial centre.
All these are extracts from the Labuan IBFC web sites that explain to us what it’s all about on the outside. Does anyone even bother to find out that what is being preached by them are actually even implemented?
One just has to dig a bit further and you will see more dirt under the carpet. What’s next we will be looking at a few drug cartels coming to invest here in Labuan or more money laundering companies operating as clearly they will be given a three year visa to stay here in Malaysia while also operation in business legally without having to worry from immigration department as its them that issues the final permit upon instructions from the Labuan IBFC and Labuan Trust Companies.
A trend that is already being practiced here and obviously being abused. Such acts would only tarnish the department more. How much the expatriates granted work permits in Labuan have invested here as we know some operates Hotels and Pubs.
It should be made clear that Labuan IBFC should make sure that it keep its name clean and not get involved with all the hanky panky that’s going around here in LABUAN.
By: GREAT LABUAN WARRIOR (GLW)