KOTA KINABALU, Mar 21 – Malaysia’s 6% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is among the lowest in the world, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said today. In fact, he said, the government remained concerned and had exempted the GST on 578 essential goods.
“Usually, the middle-men will raise the prices of goods and blame the government by saying that the prices have gone up because of the GST. This is not true because we implemented the GST two years ago, and by right it should not have any impact at all (on the prices of goods),” he said when launching the “Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat” carnival and Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) Biz Fair (business fair) here.
Najib also said that the revenue from GST had enabled the government to provide various forms of aid and incentives to the people, such as the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M). “We have allocated RM6.8 billion for BR1M this year, and (from that amount) RM561 million is for Sabah,” he said, adding that the distribution of BR1M helped to boost the country’s economy.
He said the government was always concerned about the people and listened to their pulse so that solutions could be implemented for their benefit. At the event, Najib announced that the carnival would be held fortnightly in every parliamentary constituency in the country. He also said that the RM5 million allocation for the organisation of the carnival would be doubled to organise it throughout the country.
He also announced the sale of the basic essential goods at special prices. For example, a 10kg bag of super rice selling at RM23.80 was being sold at RM20 for 20kg; fresh whole chicken at RM5 (market price RM8.50) and beef at RM15 per kg (market price RM25 per kg). Najib also presented the SSM corporate tithe amounting to RM200,000 and SSM CSR donation of RM200,000 to Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.
The corporate tithe will be distributed to 1,000 hardcore poor people, and several surau and mosques in Sabah while the CSR donation would be distributed to 2,000 eligible people in the state. Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin and SSM CEO Datuk Zahrah Abd Wahab Fenner were also present at the event. — Bernama