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Malay chamber backs GST delay

 | July 18, 2012

DPMM chairman Syed Ali Mohamed Alattas says the public is not ready for the tax scheme.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malay Chamber of Commerce (DPMM) said today it backed the statement made by Putrajaya that consumers are not ready for the controversial goods and services tax scheme.

“Yes I agree. If there’s a delay in its implementation and there’s a statement like that it means we are not ready,” its chairman Syed Ali Mohamed Alattas told a press conference here.

Yesterday, Second Finance Minister Husni Hanadzlah said the government is engaging with all quarters to provide more in-depth knowledge on the proposed GST.

He said the authorities are in the consultation phase over the new tax involving the public, business community and the private sector through several initiatives.

“We want everybody to be familiar with it. Once everybody is okay, only then will we implement it,” he said.

Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia president SM Thanneermalai has also been reported to have said it will be good for the government to take more time to implement a big taxation system like the GST.

“The government is very concerned over the people’s sentiment towards the GST. That is something very important as miscommunication can further deter the implementation of the tax system,” he was quoted as saying.

The GST Bill was tabled in Parliament for first reading in December 2009 but its second reading, originally planned for March 2010, was postponed after the opposition aimed to make the issue a campaign fodder.

The new tax scheme was part of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s raft of reform pledges aimed at expanding revenue source through a widened tax base and rein in the record budget deficit.

The country’s public debt stood at a whopping 7.4% of GDP in 2009 but has been on the decline since.


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