Penang folk grumble about SST's effect on nasi kandar

Shamsul Munir Safini

BUTTERWORTH: Nasi kandar outlets, motorcycle accessories, engine lubricants and mobile phone reload cards - these were among the items which have experienced an increase in prices following the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST), which came into effect today.

NSTP’s checks at a nasi kandar outlet here showed that the shop’s management has implemented a six per cent tax on its menu items.

One customer, when met, said he did not expect his plate of mee goreng to have a six per cent sales tax.

“It’s the school holidays so my family and I decided to come here to get a bite. The price was different back when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was in effect.

“But now, the price appears to have gone up.

“I only found out upon paying. When I looked at the receipt, it stated that there was a six per cent tax.

“I was under the impression that the tax was only imposed on manufacturers and not traders. I didn’t think that the menu items would also see an increase,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Alif Haikal Khairil Rosdi, 16, said he was subjected to a 10 per cent tax when he bought accessories for his motorcycle.

The student, met at a motorcycle workshop here, said he wanted to buy a basket and kickstand for his motorcycle and didn’t expect that the items would cost more.

“I’m still studying and I saved money based on the previous retail price. And now, I found that the items were more expensive than before.

“I didn’t have enough money so I had to ask my mum to top up,” said Mohd Alif, who works part-time at a restaurant.

Prepaid mobile phone users also grumbled about the tax imposed each time they buy prepaid credit.

They said the SST has led to a difference in what they are paying.

“I know the government had announced that the SST would kick in today. But the effect is unexpected.

“Those who use prepaid services are mostly teens and usually come from the lower-income group. It definitely has an impact on us when we reload, even if it’s just six per cent,” said one buyer.

Checks at the Mydin supermarket here, meanwhile, showed that quite a number of items were not subjected to the SST.

Packet drinks, for example, saw no price increases. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd