Najib: Guan Eng 'not telling truth' about cascading SST

Mohd Noor Aswad

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has claimed that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng was not "telling the truth" about the newly implemented Sales and Services Tax (SST).

“Lim Guan Eng is not telling the truth when he speaks to the public about the SST.

“He said the SST tax will only be paid by the manufacturer and not the consumer but this is not true,” he said in his Facebook post today.

Najib said he had taken a look at the items listed under the new taxation system, dated Aug 26 and realised that there were many changes made from the previous list dated Aug 21.

“The new list has a lot of fresh food items such as crabs, prawns, squids and shellfish having 10 per cent sales tax.

“Various items such as sauces, several types of meat and fishes, burder patties, sausages, cheese and butter are also being tax between 5 per cent and percent. Various drinks, fruit juices (at 5 per cent), soda (10 per cent) and mineral water (10 per cent),” Najib said.

Najib claimed that when restaurants and families purchase raw food ingredients, they are already paying the 10 per cent tax that the manufacturers and producers need to pay.

"Consumers do not see the tax and have to pay a higher amount for the items." he said.

He added that the situation was made worse when people dine at restaurants where they will be charged 6 per cent service tax on top of the other charges that the restaurant will impose on the consumer to compensate for the taxation on the food ingredients.

He said the SST will further burden the public not just on food items but also when they go to service their vehicles.

“This is what I have been warning that the SST is a cascading tax where items will be taxed several times. This was different under the Good and Services Tax (GST) where at a 6 per cent rate, all items will be charged only once,” Najib explained.

Najid said the poor or under the B40 group, would feel the burden under the SST tax system.

“I urge the government to take out the fresh food items, beverages and food preparation ingredients from the SST tax list to ensure that the poor are not burdened and victimised.” urged Najib. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd