PETALING JAYA: The time is not right to reintroduce the goods and services tax (GST) as the global economy is still undergoing slow growth, said deputy finance minister Steven Sim.
He said the government needs to consider the effects of reimplementing the GST holistically, not only based on the opinions of certain parties.
“These parties have their reasons for GST’s reintroduction. For example, traders might say they can claim back (their costs) but we need to look at the situation holistically and not just from (the viewpoints of) one or two parties.
“I am not saying whether GST is good or bad but this is not an appropriate time (to implement GST), especially since we are facing a slow global economy and increase in prices of goods,” he said after a dialogue session held in conjunction with the Perak state-level Budget 2024 roadshow today.
The media previously quoted deputy finance minister Ahmad Maslan as stating that several parties favour the GST, including the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (DPMM), traders and economic analysts.
Ahmad, via a post on his Facebook page, said previously, he faced strong opposition over the GST but now, many parties have assisted in explaining the tax.
Sim, on the other hand, said the government has other avenues to increase the country’s revenue apart from reimplementing the GST.
“So we have other ways (such as) better fiscal management, taxation system and government procurement.
“We have all these methods, including targeted subsidies. So, with all these methods, we can manage our fiscal needs without resorting to GST for now,” he said.
Meanwhile, Perak menteri besar Saarani Mohamad said prior to the budget’s roadshow, the state government had sent a list of nine identified high-impact projects with financial implications totalling RM138.67 billion to the finance ministry.
He said these projects would be the state government’s main focus as they would be the main pillars under the state’s development plan, Perak Sejahtera 2030.
“The state government has listed the health sector as one of the main focus in the state’s priority list to the federal government for the upcoming 2024 budget with applications of RM1.47 million in project funding,” he said.