Restaurants and hotels to get service charge certificates

PETALING JAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Ministry will be issuing a service charge certificate to restaurants and hotels soon.

Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said the certificate would be similar to the halal certificate so consumers would be informed about the specifics of the service charge imposed.

“You can’t say you don’t want to pay if you know (beforehand) the restaurant is charging a 10% service charge on top of the goods and services tax of 6%,” he said.

According to Hasan, the 10% ser­vice charge must be stipulated in the collective agreement (CA) between employers and employees before businesses can impose it.

“The employers decide on the amount of service charge imposed, and it is a law of contract between two parties,” said Hasan, who added that restaurants could also opt to charge a figure that was less than 10%.

On restaurants still using handwritten bills while charging GST and service charge, Hasan said they would be given until the end of the month to switch to machine-printed receipts.

On traders being charged under the Anti-Profiteering Act 2011, Hasan confirmed that no cases had been brought to court so far, but added that the ministry was carrying out several investigations.

The Malaysian Association of Hotels, meanwhile, said that service charge was a universal practice and had been applied in Malaysia for decades without any problems.

“It is very unfortunate that Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan’s recent statement on the matter has confused consumers into thinking that the charge is a kind of tax to the Government,” association president Cheah Swee Hee said.

He added that since 1975, the service tax was imposed by the Government through the legislation of Sales and Service Tax (SST) Act.

“Since then, the standard hotel practice is price plus 10% service charge and 5% government tax.

“Subsequently, the government tax portion was increased to 6% and on April 1, the SST was replaced with the Goods and Services Tax (GST),” he said.

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