Last week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob indicated that the government may bring back the goods and services tax (GST) to expand the government’s revenue and ease the strain on public subsidies.
However, it turned out that Malaysians are not going well with this move and many took to the social media to criticise the government for implementing something that could cause another round of price hikes, especially when inflation is already affecting the people.
In response, the prime minister has ought to allay public anxiety over the return of the controversial goods and services tax (GST) to bolster the government’s coffers.
According to Malay Mail, he stressed that the government is looking for ways to increase the country’s revenue and bringing back the consumption tax is only one of the possibilities.
He added that many people have misconstrued his intentions.
“Many jumped the gun when I said we will not dismiss the possibility, but I also said we will conduct a study because the government suffered losses to its revenue collection when we switched from GST to current sales and services tax (SST),” he said.
“So there are many considerations that need to be looked at. What is its eventual effect, whether it will cost price of goods to rise, whether it’s timely now or several years later.”
“Don’t worry, when the time comes we will reveal and announce. But at the moment, this is still at the review stage,” he said.
Ismail then gave his assurance that the government’s priority remains to address public concerns about living costs and that any intended policy change, especially that about a new tax, will have to go through the due procedure.
“We want what is to be announced to be embraced by the people, not rejected by them,” he said.
Meanwhile, he also acknowledged the negative public perceptions of the GST, but he said the government are left with not many options for increasing revenue.
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