No SST on duty-free islands shows govt on the ball, says business association

LANGKAWI: The government’s decision not to implement the sales and services tax (SST) in duty-free islands reflects an understanding of their role in increasing the nation’s revenue, said Langkawi Business Association (Niagakawi) deputy president Alexander Isaac today.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s clarification on this matter yesterday showed that the government was aware of the adverse impact if Langkawi, Labuan and Tioman were subjected to the tax, he told Bernama here.

Alexander noted that these islands had been dependent on their duty-free status to attract tourists and make tourism a major source of income for the nation.

“I believe it (tourism) is one of the identified revenue sources to help the nation reduce the trillion ringgit debt,” he said.

Alexander expressed hope that Lim would engage the industry players, as they too were concerned about the huge debt and were willing to share their ideas on how to alleviate the problem.

“Our ideas will be along the lines of increasing revenue for the country but without hurting the rakyat (people),” he added.