- The Straits Times
Despite stating that the Government could consider bringing back the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has now firmly said there is no plan to do so as there is no need to replace the current Sales and Services Tax (SST).
The premier’s latest comments were made in Malaysian Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 8), less than a week after he reportedly said that the Government would study reviving the GST “if people believe it is better“.
In Parliament, Dr Mahathir said that the SST is expected to yield more income than the GST system in the future.
According to New Straits Times (NST), Dr Mahathir said that the Government is expecting a shortfall of over RM20 billion with the SST this year.
“Of course there is a shortfall in collection under the SST but this is not because the SST is a mistake,” The Star quoted him as saying.
“This is because when a new tax is introduced, there will be a shortfall due to adjustments made by the officers and taxpayers.
“I am confident that collection under the SST will surpass that under the GST in the years to come,” he reportedly said.
The 94-year-old leader also said the STT was “going on well”, adding that all it needed was some improvements.
“That is why there is no reason to return to the GST which was rejected by the people,” he said.
According to NST, the PM also rejected an offer from former deputy finance minister Ahmad Maslan to provide free consultation if the Government wanted to look into reviving the GST. “Thank you for the offer, but the country will be destroyed if we accept you as a consultant,” he reportedly said.
Malaysian financial news site The Edge reported that Mahathir also said it was not beneficial for a country to change its tax system too frequently as it could affect investor confidence.