Published on: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: Lower income countries have already implemented the Goods and Service Tax (GST) and a middle-income country like Malaysia should not be afraid to carry out its plan to start the tax next year.
Sabah Customs Department Director Datuk Janathan Kandok said lesser countries like the Philippines and Laos have implemented the system for years.
"Currently, there are only three countries in Asia that have not implemented the system - Malaysia, Brunei and Myanmar.
You cannot compare us to Brunei though, it's a rich country.
"If other countries can support this, why not our people?" said Janathan in his opening remark during a Customs briefing on GST at Wisma Kastam, here, Tuesday.
He said the people should not blame GST for the continued increase in prices of goods in the country since the system is not yet in place.
"GST will only be implemented on April 1 next year. We have received numerous complaints from the public saying they are being charged with GST and as proof, they showed the GST remark under their lottery tickets.
"This GST does not stand for Goods and Services Tax but Gaming Service Tax and it had been in place for quite some time," he said.
Janathan added that there are many reasons for price increase, including the nation's dependence on imported items such as meat and rice, the changing price of oil in the global market, natural disaster, greedy traders and low supply.
The tax was tabled for its first reading in 2009 but was delayed amid mounting criticism. During the government reading of the 2014 budget, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced a GST tax of six per cent.
This will replace the Sales and Services Tax, a tax of between five and ten per cent.