Published: Wednesday October 30, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday October 30, 2013 MYT 9:02:49 AM
I REFER to the report “More GST exemptions wanted” (The Star, Oct 28).
Amidst all the polemics over the GST, I would say it is indeed long overdue.
It is a very fair to most Malay-sians as it distributes the burden of taxation to a larger section of the population.
It is also an important fiscal reform because a comprehensive and efficient tax system can generate a substantial income for the Government while not burdening the rakyat, if more essential items are exempted from it.
Most significantly, it teaches our consumers, especially the young, to be thrifty and spend wisely on essential items only.
Invariably and inadvertently, they will learn to think and weigh all the pros and cons before making any purchases.
However, we cannot rely on GST alone to generate income to
achieve a developed nation status in 2020.
The Government has to stop immediately all the wastage and leakage as revealed by the Auditor-General recently.
If I understand correctly, besides corruption charges, in the General Orders government servants can be surcharged for any negligence in financial management.
Nevertheless, whatever appropriate disciplinary action taken must be transparent and highlighted in the media for accountability purposes.
With regard to the GST, more items should be exempted to help the lower-income groups particularly, to enable them to live their lives without being unnecessarily burdened by the increase in prices of goods and services.
In light of this, another extremely important and essential item among others that needs to be exempted from the GST is matters related to sport.
With the Education Ministry’s policy of one-student-one-sport ruling, every student needs to purchase at least some sort of sport equipment such as shoes, games equipment and attire.
The 6% GST, though a single digit, adds up to the selling price of the sport products.
The RM100 BRIM allowance given to students will not be sufficient to cover the cost of most of the sport items.
Moreover, realistically many middle and lower-income groups pursue some kind of sport like playing football, badminton, sepak takraw or basketball, so the balls and racquets should not be included in the GST.
Admission fees to sport events should also be exempted since the popular sports like football and badminton are watched by thousands of common folks.
Next to be exempted should be the sport coaching fees. At present, students are paying coaching fees to non-school coaches and some of their fees surprisingly are even much higher than school tuition fees.
food items like vitamins and isotonic drinks, widely consumed by sportspersons who are certified by their school authorities and sport associations, should also be exempted.
Furthermore, medical aids like knee and ankle guards and muscle and pain relief ointments should also be in the list of GST exemptions.
In short the GST had better not touch sports since it is a healthy activity generally participated by lower-and middle-income Malaysians.
GST is good for all, so is sport!