Chinese school saves RM8mil

JOHOR BARU: The Government has helped Foon Yew High School’s newest branch in Seri Alam, Pasir Gudang, save more than RM8mil by exempting the school from Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Real Property Gain Tax (RPGT).

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the Finance Ministry approved the GST exemption application on Dec 19.

The MCA deputy president said the approval letter allows Seri Alam Properties Sdn Bhd, which contributed the plot of 9.4ha of land to the school, to be GST exempted.

“The developer does not need to pay about RM4mil in GST according to the market value of the land, as it was given for education purposes,” said Dr Wee.

He was speaking to reporters after handing the letter to school management committee chairman Tong Sing Chuan and Seri Alam Properties Sdn Bhd executive director Freddie Lee at the school’s main campus in Stulang Laut here yesterday.

He revealed that the Government stipulated three conditions for the exemption – that the school must not transfer the land ownership for other purposes without the Finance Ministry’s approval, that the land can only be used for education and non-commercial purposes and that it cannot rent, sell or lease the land.

The Government previously exempted the school from paying RPGT, saving the school some RM4mil, bringing the total savings to RM8mil.

Dr Wee said Foon Yew High School’s board of directors had also recently sought GST exemption for its fundraising efforts to build the school.

He said the matter would be further discussed with party president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and the school board to work out the details to prevent the funds from being abused.

He noted that the school’s smooth progress was possible due to a joint effort by Umno leaders like Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, MCA leaders and non-governmental organisations.

Tong said the tax exemption was timely, as the school was ready to start the initial land work for its third campus next month.

“We are glad things are falling into place,” he said, adding that the new campus is expected to accommodate up to 4,500 students on top of the 10,000 students enrolled in its Stulang Laut and Kulai campuses.

The committee had so far raised RM15mil to build the new campus and would continue to raise funds to ensure the completion of its first two phases by 2020 and for classes to begin in 2021.

Foon Yew High School, set up in 1913, is the largest Chinese independent school in the country in terms of student population and campus size.

foon yew high school , education , mca , GST