GST fever hits town and it’s no April Fool joke

A joint operation by the Customs Department, and the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism, checking on businesses at Satok in Kuching yesterday, on the first day of GST implementation. Photo by ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE

KUCHING: The Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) has begun implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 6% on some of its services.

These include parking fees, library membership fees and rental of facilities such as the Sukma Ria and Demak Laut commercial centres, Amphitheatre, Sungai Maong Hall and mobile toilets.

Its brass band service is also subject to GST.

In a statement, DBKU advised consumers to be careful and wise in their spending following the introduction of GST yesterday.

“Consumers should ensure that traders who charge GST are duly registered with the Customs Department. Any complaints about the GST implementation can be forwarded to Customs and the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry,” it added.

Meanwhile, the Sibu Water Board informed consumers that only water for domestic consumption was zero-rated.

“Therefore water bills issued under charge code 01 will not incur any GST, whereas water bills issued under all the other charge codes will incur a GST rate of 6% effective April 1,” general manager Daniel Wong said.

He said other invoices or bills issued by Sibu Water Board for any services or goods provided would also be subject to GST.

Meanwhile, Sarawak’s first and only 24-hour hypermarket, E-Mart at Batu Kawa in Kuching, was being swamped with last minute shoppers on Tuesday.

At 10.30pm, when there was only 90 minutes of GST-free shopping left, the place was crowded with customers. Perhaps for the first time ever, the hypermarket opened up nearly all its cashiers at such a late hour to accommodate the large number of people.

A Sarawak Metro reader, Bong Khoon Ling, said the long queue of shoppers seemed unhappy and anxious.

“I’m here with my mum to shop because tomorrow I’m off to Kuala Lumpur for a month for job training. We are stocking up because I’ll be away but most other people are here because of GST,” Bong said.

Similar scenes were seen in other towns across Sarawak.

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Government , East Malaysia , gst


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