Dr Wee welcomes govt's willingness to reintroduce GST

KUALA LUMPUR: With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been proven to be an excellent mechanism to generate revenue for the country, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong says he welcomes the government's willingness to consider the idea of reinstating the taxation method.

"I welcome the Economy Minister's (Rafizi Ramli) announcement yesterday that he is willing to consider the GST. I am relieved," Dr Wee (BN-Ayer Hitam) said while debating the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) mid-term review in Parliament on Tuesday (Sept 12).

"Previously (they were) against GST, now (they) are willing to discuss. That is progress," he added.

Dr Wee said although Barisan Nasional was once criticised for implementing the tax system, it has now been proven that GST effectively adds income to government coffers.

However, Dr Wee said some changes can be made to the GST system implemented.

"We can have zero-rated, an exemption list and enable cash handouts for the B40 with the higher tax collection. There is no issue.

"If 6% is too high, we can reduce it to 4%," he said.

He said the GST could be reimplemented with improvements made to the tax refund system, which was seen as problematic.

Dr Wee had also previously called for the reinstatement of GST, which was introduced during Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration and withdrawn from use when Pakatan Harapan came to power in 2018.

Welcoming the initiatives on the 12MP mid-term review, Dr Wee said it was important to review the income classification for the T20 group regarding the disbursement of targeted subsidies.

"The T20 group is divided into two categories, the T1 and T2. The salary range of the T1 category is from RM10,961 to RM15,039," he said.

Citing examples, Dr Wee said going solely by household income, a couple who are civil servants or in the M40 group would be pushed to the T20 category.

"They will then be categorised in the T20 category, the same as Tan Sris, Datuks and Tuns. They will not get targeted subsidies," he said.

"So I want to ask the government to relook at this category," Dr Wee added.

He said the government should also look at ways to incentivise SME employers who have employees who are on maternity leave for over 90 days.

This is in line with the government's aim to increase women's participation in the labour force to 60% within a decade.

Dr Wee also said there must be a master plan to urbanise the country's over 600 Chinese New Villages.

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