Customs Dept going all-out to stop national revenue leakages


AZURA ABAS and NOORSILA ABD MAJID

PUTRAJAYA: To stop leakages in national revenues, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department will soon send reminders to 70,000 GST-registered companies with dubious GST declaration forms to get their act together.

"Our GST system is one of the best in the world. We took into consideration risk management when we developed the system. We know the tax performance ratio for each industry.

So we're giving 70,000 GST-registered companies a grace period to fix their GST declaration forms, failing which, we will take legal action against them," said Customs Director-General, Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy.

So far, 500 GST offenders have been charged in court, while 6,000 cases are under investigation.

The newly-appointed Customs DG also declared war against tax evaders, bribe-givers and smugglers, adding that his Department aims to reduce cigarette smuggling by 50 per cent within three years.

"Our biggest income loss is from contraband cigarettes. Next, is smuggled liquor," Subromaniam said, adding that the estimated loss of revenue is in the billions.

"According to a World Bank Report, all countries in the world have recorded revenue leakages of between 10 per cent and 40 per cent. Our country falls in between (that)," he said.

To beef up border security, armed Customs officers will be stationed 24/7 at some 150 legal landing spots in Malaysia.

"Our Coordinated Border Management (CBM) unit will be armed with weapons by next week, so as to assist in guarding our 150 borders with legal landing spots. They will also be monitoring the operations of our scanning machines at the borders," said Subromaniam.

The CBM exercise will involve 3,000 enforcement officers across the country.