Guan Eng: Federal government taking 'liberal approach' on SST

Mohamed Basyir

GEORGE TOWN: Federal government will take a ‘liberal approach’ in implementing Sales and Services Tax (SST) next month by allowing business parties to make own declarations on items to be exempted from the tax. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the liberal approach would help avoid public perception that the traders were evading payment of tax to the government.

“It is based on mutual trust, we change the approach and they (businesses) can show they are responsible tax payers. “We (will) give them chances to declare items and services that they believe can be exempted from SST and we will accept it, but at the same time we will investigate on it and take actions if their declarations are false,” he said when met by the press today. He had earlier attended ‘A Date with Finance Minister’ event organised by Penang Chinese Chambers Commerce (PCCC) at St Giles Wembley here where he explained the implementation of SST to the participants. When asked whether the move could turn risky as the trust was being put solely on the traders, he said that it was part of trust building process with them. “If you want people to trust us, we must trust the people first. If you want people to speak the truth to you then you must first speak the truth to the people,” he responded.

SST was passed in Dewan Rakyat earlier this month, a tax scheme which will replace Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduced by the previous administration. SST is expected to be tabled for debate at Dewan Negara tomorrow. Lim said that he would do his best to convince the Dewan Negara senators that SST was the way forward as tax collecting scheme. “I will be having a dinner with them (senators) tonight before the tabling of SST tomorrow (Monday) at Dewan Negara. “I will convince them that it is important for the country so that we would have sufficient revenue or we might face a severe deficit. I am confident the senate will realise its importance and make a wise decision on it,” he said.​ © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd