PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek wants a “third" choice to resolve the issue relating to prepaid top-up cards.
Based on the people’s feedback, the Communications and Multimedia Minister said mobile prepaid reloads should have the same airtime value as the amount paid.
Currently, prepaid top-up users are paying RM10.60, leaving RM10 in credit following the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Another option being considered is to pay RM10 and have RM9.43 in credit upon deduction.
Ahmad Shabery said he was not satisfied with existing solutions for prepaid top-ups.
“So the choice was to whether pay RM10.60 for RM10 worth of credit or to get RM9.43 upon paying RM10.
"To me, this is not relevant, because there is no third choice then,” said Ahmad Shabery on the Suara Kita Hak Kita programme over Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) on Monday.
According to Ahmad Shabery, the rakyat’s feedback was an overwhelming support for paying just RM10 for the same amount of credit.
“Because this is the wish of the rakyat, this is my decision. I will follow what the rakyat wants,” said the Kemaman MP.
Having met the management and technical representatives from various telcos, he would voice his opinions to the various CEOs of telcos and the Customs Department.
“When I refer to all involved parties, there’s no question. GST is applied to prepaid top-up cards,” he said.
The move, however, has since been met with opposition from Malaysians from all walks of life, such as students and rural folk.
“We can find a mechanism so the rakyat can buy RM10, and get RM10 value.
“And when I get their (telco CEOs and Customs Department) decision, I will bring it up to Cabinet next week, and say this is the decision we want,” he added.
Ahmad Shabery said the issue could not be solved “within two days”, and time is needed to reconfigure the systems involved to accommodate any changes.
Telcos had already aligned systems to give only RM10 of credit upon payment of RM10.60.
When asked about Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s instructions to resolve the issue via Twitter, Ahmad Shabery said it was an “extraordinary move”.
“My child asked me, abah (father), is this for real?” he said when referring to the public order for action.
“I feel like I’m very walking on a narrow bridge, with a river below full of crocodiles.
"It’s quite a task, and I know what the implication is as a Minister, if it’s not fulfilled. This is a responsibility I must undertake,” he said.
According to him, the decision on proposed payment of RM10 for RM10 worth of credit is spurred by the wishes of the rakyat.
“I have set my third choice. InsyaAllah, this will be the one enforced,” added Ahmad Shabery.
Before GST, consumers would get the exact amount of airtime credit for the amount paid.