GST is not an issue as Islam does not forbid collection of tax

SUZALINA HALID


ALOR STAR: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) should not be turned into a polemic and should be viewed as growth for the nation’s development and administration.

National Dakwah Council chairman Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Ab Majid said Islam did not forbid any government from collecting tax from the people.

He said based on Islamic references, there is no clear indication that bars the government from collecting tax although Islam imposes zakat (tithe) to help the poor and needy groups.

“It (the GST) is not an issue but it seems that it has been turned into a polemic.

“If we refer to any literature references in Islam, there is no mention that tax cannot be collected.

“Tithe is a system to provide a safety net for the ‘asnaf’ (needy) while other taxation systems is meant for the public administration,” he said in a press conference after attending the northern zone ‘Dakwah and Unity Gathering’ today.

The event was opened by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah.

Prof Mahmood was responding to statements by several Islamic clerics and state muftis.

Penang Mufti Datuk Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor was reported as saying that the GST collection has made life even more difficult for the low-income groups.

Wan Salim said since the consumption tax has added financial pressure for low-income and poor families, it could be considered as ‘haram’ (forbidden) in Islam.

Perak mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria has opined that the GST should not be imposed as it is a burden to the people.