KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah has denied a report by Malay daily Utusan Malaysia which quoted him as saying that the reinstated Sales and Services Tax (SST) failed to lower the prices of goods.
In a press statement today, the PPBM lawmaker said Utusan Malaysia had taken his words out of context when he gave a speech at Semenyih yesterday in an article titled: “Kerajaan akui SST tidak mampu kurangkan harga barang” (The government admits SST could not reduce price of goods).
“In my speech I said that through SST, the government had returned RM23 billion worth of revenue through reducing the number of items being taxed when compared to the GST (goods and services tax) regime.
“This noble endeavour did not give a significant impact to the price of goods in the market that will burden the public as the inflation rate for 2018 was at one per cent (after GST was abolished and SST reinstated), when compared to 3.7 per cent in 2017 (when GST was still implemented).
“The Consumer Price Index comparison between 2018 and 2017 showed that GST had caused a bigger price increase when compared to SST,” he said.
He added that being a responsible government, Pakatan Harapan is taking proactive steps and his ministry have been holding in depth discussion with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) to study the entire supply chain.
Amiruddin pointed out that KPDNHEP has a nationwide price comparison data while the Finance Ministry through the Royal Customs Department has information on import prices.
The cooperation between the two ministries allows the government to identify at which level possible exploitation of prices occurs.
Following this cooperation, an effective framework policy can be created to curb irresponsible parties from manipulating prices and rake in ridiculous profit.
“As a mainstream media institution, Utusan Malaysia should respect journalism ethics and report news responsibly instead of being manipulated for the interest of certain parties,” he said.