'Soda tax' idea gets thumbs up from Domestic Trade Minister

Esther Landau, ASMAH RUSMAN

KUALA LUMPUR: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNHEP) Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail is in full support of the idea to impose a ‘soda tax’ on soft drinks.

“I think it is a good idea and worth it. It is what the government wants to look into,” he told reporters at the SSM Bizrun 2018 programme organised by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) at Padang Merbok here, today.

Saifuddin was commenting on the idea put forward by Tony Pua, a special officer to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who said the measure will promote a healthier lifestyle among Malaysians.

Pua, who is also the Damansara Member of Parliament, also denied claims that the measure would burden low income households (the B40).

Saifuddin echoed Pua, saying that implementing the tax would not only provide revenues to the government, but also send a message to consumers that partaking in sugary drinks could negatively affect their health.

He also said the government should suggest several other measures to cover a shortfall in tax revenue following the removal of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd