Date of publication: Oct 26, 2013
Section heading: Business Times
Page number: 004
Byline / Author: By Marina Emmanuel
KUALA LUMPUR: The impact of the proposed goods and services tax (GST) on manufacturing firms, notably those in free trade zones, must be clarified by the government, says the Malaysian American Electronics Industry Association (MAEIA).
"We are still unclear on how the GST is going to affect our members, notably those operating in free trade areas," MAEIA chairman Datuk Wong Siew Hai said.
MAEIA is the industry group of the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and member companies comprise American firms in the electrical and electronics sector.
"The GST implementation is one of the biggest changes in the history of Malaysia's tax landscape, and is in line with global trends. It has to happen in order for Malaysia to achieve full developed nation status," said KPMG Malaysia executive director Nicholas Crist.
He said 17 months are sufficient time to prepare for the tax implementation, by which time public awareness could be mounted by the relevant agencies in order to "demystify the GST to the public and remove any misgivings".
Eversendai Corp Bhd executive chairman and group managing director Tan Sri AK Nathan said while theGST may be painful for certain quarters in the short run, the revenue generated from the tax can promote investments, among others.
"Managing the GST is set to be a task and the government needs to continuously explain it to the public and implement in a right and timely manner," he added.
The Master Builders Association Malaysia said it supports the implementation of the GST owing to its potential ability to boost the government's income and further promote efficiency of the tax administration.
"This improved and more transparent means of collection of taxes is welcomed as the direct taxes (personal and corporate income tax) will be reduced simultaneously," association president Matthew Tee said.
"However, we are disappointed that the reduction of corporate and personal taxes of one per cent will only be implemented in the assessment year 2016.
"The participation of the private sector is vital to accelerate the rollout of the GST policy and we believe that the construction industry will benefit as a whole with proper planning and implementation," Tee said.