PETALING JAYA: The findings of a recent survey of local businesses contradict the statement by the Finance Minister regarding the Sales and Services Tax (SST) because it shows that the SST has pushed up the cost of doing business, says Gerakan president Datuk Dr Dominic Lau.
The survey by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) concluded that the introduction of the SST, which replaced the Goods and Sales Tax (GST), had increased the cost of doing business by up to 10%.
Lau said this had a domino effect as traders and businessmen would pass the cost on to consumers through price hikes.
“The implementation of the SST failed to reduce the cost of living; nothing has changed.
“The revenue of the government has been halved with a much smaller tax base, putting the nation’s economy on oil dependency once more, with Petronas forced to pay a higher revenue compared to the GST years,” he said.
Lau added that the now abolished GST should be reinstated as it was a good policy and such consumption-based taxation is used in more than 170 countries as at 2018.
“Is Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng suggesting countries, including major economies such as the United Kingdom, Germany and China, are wrong in implementing their GST while Pakatan’s argument is correct?
“Bear in mind, these countries have conducted much more research before implementing this policy than Pakatan, which relied on political rhetoric.
“Gerakan suggests that the GST be reinstated with a lower tax rate at 3% to avoid burdening the people but while securing the nation’s economy,” he said in a statement Thursday (Feb 28).
Lau urged the Pakatan government not to abolish good policies that are beneficial to the nation just to “score cheap political points” at the expense of the nation and all Malaysians.