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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cast the net

by Lim How Pim Posted on June 27, 2011, Monday
Govt told to obtain input from corporate sector before deciding on GST

KUCHING: The federal government should engage the corporate sector in public forums to gather more opinions from the ground before implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Making this call, Pemanca Ko Wai Neng pointed out that the government had to take every sector, particularly the low-income group, into consideration since GST would most probably hike up the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The Kuching Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCGCCI) treasurer said many countries across the globe had enforced the tax policy, which is “kind of overdue in Malaysia.”

“I think it is high time the government provides a clearer picture on the pertinence of implementing GST. If Malaysians do not understand the needs of implementing the policy, grievances will arise.

“There is also a dire need to invite the private sector to discuss in-depth issues in ensuring that GST will be implemented with lesser hiccups,” he said when contacted here yesterday.

Ko admitted that the majority of Sarawakians did not pay attention to issues pertaining to GST albeit consumers might have to fork out more once the policy came into effect.

“As our people do not get the rationale of implementing GST, they may become upset especially when higher taxes are involved.

“More importantly, the government must come up with certain measures to cushion the potential blow to low-income or the needy group,” he said.

He hoped that relevant government departments and agencies would start disseminating information about GST to help prepare the various communities for the impending challenges.