PKR lawmaker says ‘misses’ GST, calls it better than SST

Tebrau MP Steven Choong said that in his opinion, the GST was better than the SST Act. — AFP pic
Tebrau MP Steven Choong said that in his opinion, the GST was better than the SST Act. — AFP pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 — A PKR MP today defended the Good and Services Tax (GST) that had been introduced by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, saying it was a better system than the Sales and Service Tax (SST).

“As an accountant, I still miss the GST which was implemented. Though the SST Act has already been implemented, but to me, the GST was better than the SST Act,” Tebrau MP Steven Choong said in his debate speech during the third reading of the Finance Ministry’s 2021 Supply Bill.

Last month, national news agency Bernama reported Maybank Investment Bank (Maybank IB) Research saying that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has set up a committee to study various revenue enhancing measures, including the possibility of reintroducing the GST.

Bernama reported that a note was released on November 23 following a dialogue with Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

The report cited Maybank IB Research quoting Zafrul as saying that other measures included analysing weaknesses in the tax regime and impact of new taxation on the economy, studying options for new taxes such as carbon tax and digital tax, rationalising tax incentives, improving tax administration and enhance tax audit, such as implementing tax identification numbers and enhancing data analytics.

The GST was introduced by the Barisan Nasional government when Datuk Seri Najib Razak was prime minister.

The 6 per cent consumption tax was abolished when Pakatan Harapan came to power in May 2018 and replaced with the SST in September that same year. 

Last week, deputy finance minister I Shahar Abdullah also indicated that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government has not written off bringing back the unpopular GST.

He added that the new taxation system must be easy to be managed and not burdensome on businesses, and is able to strengthen the country’s fiscal position.

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