KUANTAN, Jan 16 – The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) should not be made into political capital as it was a transparent tax system meant to increase national income. The Pahang Malay Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Datuk Abdul Rahman Daud said the new tax collection is better understood as it is based on the principle of “whoever buys, pays” and would not benefit those people who have avoided paying taxes.

He said the tax collection would also ‘help’ foreigners to ‘perform their duty in contributing to the Malaysian economy’ as they also used the public infrastructure and facilities provided by the government. “I do not understand why the GST issue has been blown-up because we have been paying taxes when we buy goods through the Sales and Service Tax (SST) which is clearly shown on the purchase receipt,” he said when contacted by Bernama here today.

He said that at six per cent, the GST to be implemented on April 1, would also be cheaper than the SST of 16 per cent. On the confusion surrounding the GST, Abd Rahman said it was expected as new things or changes from the usual would attract attention and cause doubts. Hence, he said the public had been advised not to easily believe misinformation spread about the GST but to get the correct information from the relevant parties. 

Abd Rahman said the government should also ensure strict enforcement was taken to ensure no traders would take advantage of the situation by increasing prices using the GST as an excuse. “What we are worried about is the enforcement after it is implemented. We do not want enforcement to be only during the early stages of implementation, but not after that,” he said. 

Meanwhile the Pahang MCA Small and Medium Industry Bureau Chief, Datuk Andy Chiew Yoke Theng said the GST system was “timely” but consumers should be smart about it. “They (the consumers) have to be aware. Do not take it lightly. The GST is not imposed on all goods and services, so exercise your responsibilities as a consumer. Do not pay the GST when you don’t have to,” he said. 

Meanwhile, chairman of the Pahang Association of Malay Hawkers and Small Traders (Kuantan Branch), Hawa Bt Abdullah @ Dullah said the earlier the GST was implemented, the better it was for the government and the people. “Of course every new policy introduced by the government would be beneficial, just look at the developed countries which had implemented this system, their governments can manage the economy better and the people will benefit.

“The problem in our country is that the people still do not understand the benefits of the GST, resulting in many people not agreeing to it,” she said. She said the government should explain it in simpler and specific ways so that the people, including the hawkers and small traders, understood the policy.

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