Guan Eng on SST: Trust first, probe later

Ida Nadirah Ibrahim
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks to the press after giving a briefing on the SST in Subang, August 18, 2018. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

SUBANG JAYA, Aug 18 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Pakatan Harapan government will use a soft approach based on trust on businesses and traders on the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST).

Speaking to reporters after a briefing session between the Malaysian Royal Customs Department and traders, Lim said the Federal administration will entrust the traders to apply for exemption before taking any action against them.

“Whether they are exempted or not, we give them the trust. Let them apply first and declare exemption and later we will look into it.

“That is what we call a soft approach where we put our trust in them first, and then we will see later.

“Because the Malaysian government is built on a trust platform between the people and government,” he said.

Lim added he hopes businesses will not evade paying their tax and said, “speak honestly and we will be able to avoid any other shortcomings.”

Meanwhile, the Customs Department is expecting to collect RM22 billion from the Sales and Services Tax (SST), which will be implemented on September 1.

Its director general Datuk Seri T. Subromaniam said this includes the four new industries under the Services Tax — gambling activities, Information Technology, airline and charter flight services, and domestic electric supply.

At a press conference after the briefing with some 400 business representatives, Subromaniam reiterated that no grace period or leeway will be given to traders, but a soft approach will be used to address any issues.

“We will take informed compliance. We will meet with the representatives and chambers on a daily basis to iron out any teething problems.

“There are many guidelines on SST posted on our portal and we hope the traders will read and understand the implementation,” he said at Saujana Hotel Subang.

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