Guan Eng: SST exemption list not finalised, public feedback welcomed

Lim (seated centre) fielding questions from the press before the SST briefing programme. He is flanked by Chong (left) and Paddy.

KUCHING, Sept 5: The Finance Ministry is open to public feedback and suggestions, on items that could be exempted from the Sales and Services Tax (SST).

Its minister Lim Guan Eng said items listed under the SST is not finalised and will continuously be reviewed, to meet public needs. The Finance Ministry and Customs Department will conduct market research to gather input on consumers demand.

“The current list of exempted items is not finalised and there will be amendments to the list, depending on public demand.

“We are prepared to listen to all feedback and problems faced by the business community and public alike, with regards to the implementation of the SST,” Lim told a press conference before the SST briefing session with the business community and industrial players at a hotel here today.

He said that with the SST, the government is reverting to its previous taxation system, so there should not be much problem with regard to its implementation, except for the scope of items exempted from SST.

“In general, we have not encountered much problems with regards to the implementation of the SST since Sept 1, but public engagement is very important. We will try to rectify all issues and improve the implementation of the SST,” he added.

Lim said the government’s approach with the SST was to ensure the people’s well being were taken care of.

He cited the SST for mobile prepaid services provided by telecommunication companies as an example, where the ministry has decided that SST on the said services will be exempted beginning Thursday (Sept 6).

Lim said the exemption was necessary to overcome problems experienced by telecommunication companies, which are facing difficulties to change their systems immediately.

“Through the exemption, prepaid customers will receive the maximum credit value when they top up, as SST no longer applies. If you top up RM10, you will get RM10 in value, RM30 gets RM30 and so on,” he explained.

The ministry has also decided that the SST threshold for eateries will be increased to RM1.5 million, which means that food outlets with annual turnover of RM1.5 million and above will be subjected to SST.

Scope of exempted items under SST have been widened to reduce the burden on the people, Lim continued.

Following public feedback thus far, other items in consideration includes car accessories and retreading tyres, which could see a tax reduction from 10 to five per cent.

“If a product has a chain effect on other products, we will definitely study the taxation rate. When we talk about amending a single product, it would be easier to carry out,” he said.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs deputy minister Chong Chieng Jen, Customs Department deputy director-general Datuk Paddy Abdul Halim and state director Datuk Sharifah Halimah Tuanku Taha were present. — DayakDaily