Weaker ringgit, not GST, main cause of 2016 losses: Mydin

KUALA LUMPUR: The weaker ringgit against the US dollar was the main factor for losses incurred by Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd in 2016, and not the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or government policies.

Managing director Datuk Wira Ameer Ali Mydin said the operator of Mydin hypermarkets nationwide had suffered losses due to the weakening ringgit as most of its products were imported.

“The ringgit against the US dollar level was at 3.65 on April 1, 2015, compared with around 4.42 per US dollar currently. That is how much the ringgit has weakened over that period,” he told Bernama yesterday.

He said the weakening ringgit against the US dollar had resulted in Mydin having to pay more for the products it ordered, without increasing the price to consumers.

He was clarifying reports circling on social media claiming that the hypermarket suffered losses due to the current government’s administration and policies.

Ameer reiterated that he did not blame Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak as was maliciously stated in the reports, and that he had never taken the current administration to task, even though some policies that had been introduced might have affected businesses.

He pointed out that the GST had never been the reason for the losses as the tax regime was only replacing the previous Sales and Service Tax.

Ameer said the Anti-Profiteering Act made it hard for Mydin to increase the price of its products as the process was tedious, requiring any business to state detailed reasons as to why they have to increase the price for any particular product they sell.

Hence, it is difficult to pass on the costs to consumers, as the weakening ringgit had already resulted in reduced purchasing power, in turn affecting the group’s business. – Bernama