Despite protests, govt will proceed with GST

01 May 2014 / 22:29 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite protests from some quarters, the Government will implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST), effective next April, which it has been fine-tuning over the past 30 years, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan (pix).
Describing the protest rally against the GST as inappropriate, he said the rally organisers should use a better approach to voice their opinions.
"They should have submitted a memorandum on the matter, this (the protests) only serves to politicise all the good things that the government wants to implement", he told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair 2014 today.
The GST will be implemented at a fixed rate of 6%, replacing the existing sales and services tax. It will not be imposed on basic food items such as rice, sugar, salt, flour and cooking oil. Some of the other services exempted include government services such as issuance of passports and licences and healthcare services.
Ahmad said the GST was not something new; 90% of the world's population lived in countries which had been practising the GST.
The GST rates to be charged next year were also among the lowest in the world, he noted.
Meanwhile in Jitra, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak also said the GST will be implemented next year to secure the country's future with more robust yields.
He said even though certain quarters proposed to hold protests in Kuala Lumpur against the GST, the reality was that the country's future would be guaranteed once it was introduced.
"If we think rationally...we understand that every government policy is for the people's benefit. Don't expect results in one or two days, you sow the seeds today, you expect the fruits tomorrow," he said.
Najib urged the people to understand the government's intention in undertaking changes and transformation because of its strong rationale.
"This is the meaning that should be realised...changes cannot be stopped...must proceed...if we don't change, we will face an economic squeeze and bring suffering to the people," he said, adding that the government wanted to undertake changes and transformation despite being viewed as unnecessary. – Bernama

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