Many of my international readers asked me why Malaysia Customs only allowed them to bring USD10,000(RM30,000) cash, travel in Malaysia or travel out from Malaysia. You can bring more then that amount of money but you need to make a declaration and needs to have clearance or approval from Bank Negara controller or foreign exchange officer. This is all according to a law, Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001. In a news reported by The Star today, Customs deputy director-general Datuk Zainul Abidin Taib said in the statement, a High-tech scanners capable of detecting bank notes in luggage are to be installed at all entry and exit points in the country to curb the illegal outflow of money that has amounted to bilions of ringgit.
Datuk Zainul said seven such scanners had already been installed at the KL International Airport while the rest would be fitted by the end of the year. The scanners, costing RM300,000 to RM1.8mil each and similar to those in many other international airports, were installed at the carousel and outbound checking areas of the KLIA, he added. He also said that several million ringgit had been seized from businessmen trying to smuggle money out last year. US-based watchdog group Global Financial Integrity in its annual report said Malaysia lost RM150bil in illegal outflow of cash in 2009. It was the fourth highest among developing nations, the report said, adding that Malaysia lost US$338bil (RM1.08tril) between 2000 and 2010.
Any travellers entering or leaving Malaysia with cash and/or negotiable bearer instruments (e.g. traveller's cheques, bearer cheques) exceeding an amount equivalent to USD10,000 must make a declaration in form Customs No. 22. The form will be available at all Malaysia Customs Department Checkpoints at all entry and exit points of Malaysia for free. The rules start since 1 January 2010, in line with the global effort to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Canada have adopted the same rule. This is a requirement under section 23 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (AMLATFA) and is in line with the Special Recommendation IX by the Financial Action Task Force. You can read more about it here; Limit to bring cash in Malaysia.
Source: The Star