PETALING JAYA: Mom-and-pop shops which signed up for the retail store transformation programme (Tukar) under the Kojadi Institute or the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry can rejoice – the Tukar unit is ready to assist with any Goods and Services Tax (GST) software-related confusion.
The ministry’s Tukar unit told The Star that the 2,000 shops already revamped under the programme had been given GST-compatible point of sale hardware.
“All Tukar shops are GST-compliant, as we gave them basic GST knowledge last year. If they need any retraining, they can always contact their state Tukar office,” it said in a statement.
The ministry said that from this year on, it would continue to give the shopowners basic GST knowledge in terms of filing returns and claims.
“We will assist them with the help of the Customs Department. The shops that we take on this year will also receive GST training and help if needed,” it said.
Meanwhile, Federation of Sundry Goods Merchants Associations of Malaysia president Hong Chee Meng said Tukar shops under the Kojadi Institute, for which he is a consultant, would be given help if needed.
“Along with beautifying and modernising the shops, we will also give them any training they require, as well as upgrading the point of sale system if necessary,” he said.
Kojadi Institute chairman Datuk Ng Peng Hay echoed this.
“This is one of the advantages of signing up for Tukar. If there are any difficulties, we are always there to help,” he said, adding that it would take on 63 sundry shops this year.
Many shopowners have complained about the online system for filing GST returns, claiming that it is too technologically complex.
Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Noorul Hassan Saul Hameed said many restaurants were used to traditional methods of book-keeping.
“Many of us just use calculators and keep physical books. Upgrading a point of sale system can cost thousands of ringgit, including printers and scanners, increasing operational expenditure,” he said.
He said there was not enough information from the Customs Department and many restaurant operators were worried about the GST implementation.
“We have no problem with GST but for us using traditional methods, the Government must address our concerns,” he said.
Datuk R. Ramalingam Pillai, chairman of the Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association said business owners who were not computer-savvy must be trained.
“If we don’t train them up, come April, there will be problems,” he said.