Minister: Businesses’ threshold for SST will be fair to all

Ida Nadirah Ibrahim

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks to reporters after launching the Shariah Investing Fair 2018 in Kuala Lumpur July 21, 2018. ― Picture by Razak Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — The government will seek public feedback on the annual revenue threshold for businesses to be subject to the Sales and Services Tax (SST), Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.

He said the threshold, which will be determined by the Customs Department, will be set at a reasonable rate for all parties.

“We have received many suggestions. Definitely many have asked for the limit to be high, but we have to be fair to all.

“If the threshold is too high, might as well not have any tax,” he told a press conference after launching the Shariah Investing Fair 2018.

The Customs Department reportedly said Thursday that only businesses that make RM500,000 and above annually will be subject to the SST that is set to take effect on September 1, replacing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that was effectively abolished last month.

After the department released on Thursday a 300-page list of proposed SST-exempt items, Lim said the government is still open to receiving public response before finalising the list.

“That was merely the department’s proposal. It has not been finalised and we want to make sure that we get the response from the public, before we process it and conclude a reasonable decision. This is what we call a feedback loop.

“We don’t want a case where expensive items are exempted but the small fries (ikan bilis) will be taxed,” he said.

Among the proposed exempted big-ticket items from the SST include airplanes, luxury ships, passenger ferries, helicopters and spaceships.

Earlier, Lim urged Malaysians to go beyond local investments and venture into global ones in order to move forward.

“We should not be too comfortable by being a local hero (jaguh kampung). We have to go global as investing within the country itself is not enough. We got to break through the international level,” he said in his opening speech.

The Shariah Investing Fair, organised by Bursa Malaysia Berhad, was held to raise public awareness and retail investment into domestic stock market investments, especially Shariah-compliant assets.

The first of its event took place in November 2017, following the set up of Bursa Malaysia-i, the world’s first end-to-end Shariah-compliant investing platform launched in September 2016.