The policies implemented by the Malaysian government these days takes more considerations from the religious aspects and these can be seen with the ban on alcohol and gambling imposed in Kuala Lumpur and Kedah respectively.
Given the emphasis on religious matters, an opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Steven Sim Chee Keong has suggested that the Malaysian government to separate the revenue from “sin taxes” on hard liquor and gambling from the government’s funds and to only use it for the development of non-Muslims.
“I would like to ask… does the government plan to separate the tax revenue from alcohol and gambling – known as the sin tax – from the consolidated fund so that this money (from the sin tax) will only be used for non-Muslims?”
“This is after seeing PAS, a party in the ruling coalition, have been so passionate about banning alcohol and gambling and such.” he said in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday (18 November).
Previously, he asked the Finance Ministry to present a list of revenue collected from excise taxes on hard liquor since 2010 and based on the answer given by the Deputy Finance Minister II Yamani Hafez Musa, the government has been collecting about RM1.68 billion on average every month, which is considerably a decent income.
Steven also raised the concern about this “sinful money” being used for Muslim people and the development of Islam.
Yamani then said that the Finance Ministry has no plans to separate tax revenue collections from the sale of alcohol for the use of non-Muslims only.
“Right now, similar to other excise duty products such as cars, cigarettes, tobacco products and sugary drinks, the revenue collections for alcohol will be placed into a unified fund for government expenditure.” Yamani said.
Meanwhile, Tumpat MP Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi asked if the Finance Ministry has data on the amount spent by the government to address problems caused by alcohol consumption such as driving under the influence leading to accidents, which may involve Muslim victims.
Yamani then explained that he does not have the data on the matter and advised the Tumpat MP to refer to the Transport Ministry for further details.
Previously, the PAS-led Kedah state government has announced that all local councils in the state will not renew the business licences for lottery gaming outlets.
While in Kuala Lumpur, the Federal Territory has issued a ban on the sale of liquor in sundry, retail, and Chinese medicine shops.
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