Despite Putrajaya's reassurances that women will not face the brunt of the goods and services tax (GST) which was implemented yesterday, the cost of sanitary pads has now increased, a DAP lawmaker said.
Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching said that the increase in the prices of sanitary pads only showed that Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah has cheated the women of Malaysia.
"A check at Tesco will bring Malaysian women, who have believed Ahmad Husni and the Ministry of Domestic Trade, great disappointment," she said in a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.
Giving an example, Teo said that a box of Kotex Soft & Smooth Slim (10 pads) was being sold at RM3.39, 19 sen more than its original price of RM3.20. Similarly, Libresse Maxi Non-Wings (10 pads) is now being sold at RM3.19, also 19 sen more than its previous price of RM3.
"A comparison shows that the price of most, if not all, sanitary pads, regardless of brand and type, has gone up, not down.
"The question is, is this another mistake made by the merchant like KK Mart and 7-Eleven? Or do the words of our ministers and the user guidelines on the GST published by the government have no value at all?" she asked.
Teo said this was why she was supporting the online petition started by communications officer Kamelia Shamsuddin, to get the government to stop taxing Malaysian women for their periods.
"The petition has so far received more than 12,000 signatories. And I hope Bintulu MP Tiong King Sing is one of the signatories, to show that he sincerely cares for women and is not merely poking fun at the biological needs of women," she added.
Tiong, who elicited laughter in Parliament for raising the issue of the GST being imposed on women's sanitary products, is the reason Kamelia decided to be more vocal on the issue.
She was enraged at the callous manner the lawmakers had trifled a concern that affected half the world's population.
Tiong told the Dewan Rakyat on March 18 of concerns by women in his constituency that sanitary products would be more expensive due to the GST, drawing laughter from other MPs.
Along with a friend, Kamelia started the petition on Change.org and it received more than 5,000 supporters in five days.
Kamelia also created a Facebook page called "No GST for being women" that has received more than 3,000 likes in the same period. – April 2, 2015.