KUALA LUMPUR: Bills to abolish the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and replace it with the Sales and Service Tax (SST) were tabled in the Dewan Negara today (Aug 20).
In tabling the Bills, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that the government hopes that more people will be able to enjoy the RM17bil which will be returned to them this year, and an additional RM23bil next year, following the abolishing of GST.
He added that prices of goods would be monitored when the SST is implemented although the increase will not be as high as the GST.
"At the same time, the federal government is studying structural problems in the domestic economy such as the power of monopoly which is burdening consumers," he said.
Lim said the study would cover basic necessities such as rice and sugar as examples.
He called on senators to support the bills to ensure that the government’s current balance surplus is maintained.
"If the GST is not abolished and SST is not passed, it would mean that the estimated RM4bil in collection would be lost and the current balance would be in a deficit," he said, adding that this would affect the nation's economic credibility and credit rating.
As of 1pm, several senators have taken part in the debate, including S. Chandra Mohan, who supported the Bills, while Khairul Azwan Harun said he would decide after Lim's reply.
MCA senators Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker opposed the Bill while Datuk Ong Chong Swen said irrespective of whether senators supported the bills, they would receive the King’s assent, as they were money bills.
The Dewan Rakyat passed the Sales Tax Bill 2018 on Aug 14 while the Service Tax Bill 2018 on Aug 15.