First Published: 1:58pm, Mar 31, 2014
Last Updated: 1:58pm, Mar 31, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR (March 31): After much controversy, Parliament has tabled the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill 2014 today.
The 187 pages bill tabled by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan, is expected to come into effect in 2015.
The 6% GST will replace the existing Sales tax and Services tax which is 6% and 10% respectively.
Since its introduction in the 2014 Budget announcement last October, the bill has received mixed reaction, whereby some opined that it will burden the people; while the government calls it a fairer tax regime and that staple items are exempted to make sure lower income groups are protected.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak supported the move and claimed that Malaysia will risk going bankrupt if the GST system is not implemented.
"We have to find additional sources of income and that’s why we have to implement the GST,” he was quoted saying at a seminar on Strengthening the National Economy.
The proposed GST rate in Malaysia is considered the lowest as compared to Singapore 7% and other ASEAN countries like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Philippines at 10%.
The government has vowed to exempt essential goods like rice, cooking oil, flour fruits, vegetable and eggs. However, the list of goods exempted is not mentioned in the tabled bill.