GEORGE TOWN: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday lambasted former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who disputed the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST).
Lim questioned why when the Barisan Nasional (BN) government implemented the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Najib did not hear the grumbling from the people who had to pay tax for every product, but after the implementation of the SST, the Pekan member of Parliament had started to complain.
“I’m astonished, when he (Najib) charged GST last time, he didn’t complain. At that time (GST) six per cent, now also six per cent, why at that time he didn’t complain but is complaining now.
“We hope the former premier don’t become a hero now. When he imposed GST at six per cent (it) was far worse. Now (SST) we are being quite flexible compared to before. Apparently, only now he realised, go to the shop must pay six per cent, before this, he was unaware all shops charge six per cent,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Najib, in a post on his Twitter account yesterday, lamented as the “kuih pau” he bought was charged SST and he also uploaded the receipt he received from the restaurant which showed the SST amount of RM3.80.
“Stopped at Pau Yik Mun restaurant, Tg (Tanjung) Malim to buy pau. Clearly SST is imposed even though this shop is mid-sized! Pau shop also subject to SST,” wrote Najib.
Lim who is also Bagan member of Parliament said the the implementation of SST was different from GST as only one-third of items were subject to SST compared with GST which was imposed on all goods and services.
He reiterated that the SST was only imposed on restaurants with annual turnover or threshold value of RM1.5 million and SST exemption involving rental of small stalls and sale of cigarettes to food and beverages shop operators.
“Under SST we are a bit flexible, we set annual revenue or threshold value of RM1.5 million…three times higher than GST. So, not all are subject to SST, only those with revenue exceeding RM1.5 million must pay SST.
“Not like GST, everything is taxed. It’s a ‘clean sweep’ tax. You carry out business, have to pay tax, don’t do business, also pay tax, poor people also have to pay (GST),” he said.
Effective Sept 1, SST is implemented at 10 per cent for sales tax and six per cent tax for services, replacing GST following the Sales Tax Bill 2018 and Service Tax Bill 2018 which were passed in Parliament on Aug 20.
GST was enforced on April 1, 2015 at a rate of six per cent, introduced by the previous government to replace SST. — Bernama