Sarawak govt urged to lift state sales tax on imported tires

Milton Foo

KUCHING, Feb 9: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth Central is questioning the rationale behind imposing the state sales tax on imported tyres.

Its secretary-general Milton Foo in a statement today revealed Sarawak Tyre Dealer Retreader Association committee members had shown him a letter signed by the Comptroller of State Sales Tax Sarawak at a Chinese New Year gathering at Sg Apong, Pending last night

“The letter of notification on state sales tax on the imported tyres including tyres attached on imported vehicles into Sarawak was dated on 23 January but the tyres dealers are required to register as taxable persons and submit the requisite form (Form 1) together with the supporting documents on or before 31 January. Why did the State Financial Authority give such a short notice of only seven days to the tyres dealers or stakeholders to comply?” Foo questioned, adding that the new tax policy took effect on January 1, 2020.

“Isn’t this tantamount to a ‘double tax’ system as Sarawakians are currently paying 5 per cent SST (sales tax) to the federal government? With this new state policy in place, Sarawakians need to pay an additional 5 per cent state sales tax on imported tyres.

“At the end of the day, the burden will inevitably fall onto the consumers. The costs of transportation and logistics in Sarawak will increase due to this tax policy, causing multiple chain reactions and eventually price hikes on daily necessities for all the people in Sarawak,” he asserted.

Thus, he urged and appealed to the state government to review the decision and suspend or abolish such tax policy especially in the light of the recent economic downturn globally due to the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus which is having a serious impact on the economy of Sarawak.

“As a caring government, we should not burden our people by paying more or additional tax. Instead, we should eradicate and ease the financial burden of the people. I urge and appeal to the state government to reconsider this new tax policy,” Foo emphasised.

Chong (centre) speaking to reporters.

Meanwhile, the state opposition is also calling for the state sales tax on imported tires to be abolished in order to decrease the financial burden on the public, especially logistics and transportation companies.

“This is not fair to Sarawakians as the state government had increased the burden on Sarawakians by imposing the tax on tires,” Deputy Minister for Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Chong Chieng Jen said during a press conference after the Chinese New Year celebration event at Jalan Selangan Batu this morning.

Chong is also the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman. — DayakDaily