12MP review: Option of reintroducing GST remains, says Rafizi

KUALA LUMPUR: Reviving the goods and services tax (GST) still remains an option, says Rafizi Ramli.

Although the current plan is to introduce capital gains tax next year, the Economy Minister said that other forms of taxes would also be considered.

"One of the strategies to widen our revenue base is to develop and roll out capital gains tax in 2024 and the government will stick to that strategy.

"We will be open and go through whatever way we can to achieve fiscal sustainability through a wider revenue base – whether is going to be capital gains tax, GST or any other forms of direct and indirect taxes.

"I prefer to keep that strategy open and we will decide on a case-to-case and year-to-year basis," he said after the tabling of the 12th Malaysia Plan mid-term review in Parliament on Monday (Sept 11).

Rafizi was responding to a question if the government had plans to reintroduce the GST under 12MP.

He said any announcement made on new taxes would be from the Finance Minister when unveiling the annual budgets.

On Wednesday (Sept 7), MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong urged Putrajaya to bring GST back with several improvements such as an exemption list, zero-rated supply and giving financial aid to the poor with increased government revenue.

His suggestion was supported by several economists who agreed that GST should only be revived if there was a clearer mechanism.

Earlier, when tabling the 12MP mid-term review, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told Parliament that fiscal reforms are needed to ensure that the country's finances are managed in a sustainable and effective manner.

Among the measures that would be taken were increasing the tax base, diversifying the tax revenue stream and managing the tax system through technology.

This also included introducing a capital gains tax next year.

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