SST will leave Malaysians with more money to spend: Saifuddin

Shamsul Munir Safini

BUTTERWORTH: With the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST), Malaysians will have more money to spend.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said today that while the SST is expected to contribute to the country’s revenue, the amount will only be half of what was collected from the previous taxation system.

The annual collection of the previous version of SST amounted to RM20 billion, which was half of what was garnered by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) at RM40 billion, he added.

“Although there is a reduction in revenue with the SST, the people will have more money to spend.

“On the ministry’s part, we will go on a nationwide roadshow beginning Monday to explain to consumers about enforcement actions to be implemented by the ministry,” he said when met after flagging off a consumers’ awareness convoy at the Ampang Jajar Apartment here, this morning.

Saifuddin said the convoy is a creative initiative by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to impart information to consumers on the new taxation system, and would receive the cooperation of various quarters including his ministry.

He added that through this convoy, the people would be told in great detail about the nature of the SST, as well as goods being taxed.

“Not every item is taxed and the tax amount also varies depending on the items.

“Consumers will know which items are taxed either five or 10 per cent under the SST,” he added.

Saifuddin said that most edible products are taxed five per cent, compared to other items which are taxed 10 per cent.

He also pointed out that the convoy would explain how the SST is implemented at source on manufacturers and not handed down to wholesalers, distributors and businesses.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin said that at the national-level, the National Cost of Living Action Council, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, will meet for a discussion at the end of this month.

He said the council, with the participation of numerous ministries, will collect feedback from the people on all things related to the increase in the cost of living.

“The information will be scrutinised and tabled before a strategic plan is put in place to help ease the burden of the people,” he added. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd