Ismail Sabri joins chorus calling for GST to be reintroduced

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has renewed calls for the reintroduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The Bera MP said this could prevent the increasing prices of goods due to ineffective taxation systems.

“I agree with calls by other MPs that GST should be reintroduced regardless of whatever term is used for it.

“It (GST) is proven to be more transparent and aid the government’s fiscal standing through tax collection,” he told the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (March 7) when debating the motion of thanks on the Royal Address.

When asked by Chong Zhemin (PH-Kampar) on why the GST wasn’t reintroduced during his tenure as prime minister, Ismail Sabri said the matter was already discussed by the Cabinet.

“At the time, we issued a statement that the Cabinet discussed the matter (GST) and was studying it,” he added.

Previously, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong also said reviving the GST would be a conclusive resolution to improve tax returns as compared to imposing a slew of taxes.

Dr Wee also said the government could label the tax differently, if they felt awkward in using the term GST.

“You can call it the value added tax, consumption tax or Madani tax, as long as it is a consumption-based tax," the Ayer Hitam MP said when debating the motion of thanks on the Royal Address in Parliament on Feb 28.

The GST was introduced in April 2015 by then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak but scrapped three years later during the Pakatan Harapan administration in 2018 under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s leadership.

It was replaced by the Sales and Service Tax (SST).

Beginning March 1, the SST rate for most services, including overseas-based digital services, will increase by two percentage points from 6% to 8%.

Currently, only food and beverages, telecommunications and vehicle parking services have been given exemption from the tax hike.

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