Posts Tagged ‘GST

28
Dec
15

Clown minister suggests two jobs to cope with rising costs

Ahmad Maslan takes a beating for ‘work two jobs’ remark

Opposition lawmakers and a social activist take a swipe at the Umno deputy minister, with Tony Pua suggesting the people sell nasi lemak and Art Harun saying the PM himself holds three jobs.

PETALING JAYA: Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ahmad Maslan’s “work two jobs to cope with rising costs of living” remark continues to receive flak from many quarters with a social activist and opposition lawmakers taking to social media to give him a good telling off.

Lawyer and social activist Art Harun tweeted: “Another useful advice from amat maslan (sic) – take 2 jobs to overcome rising costs. Yes. Wake up early. Avoid toll road. Makan kangkung (eat kangkung).”

He also took to Facebook to post “Don’t be angry with Mat Maslan for suggesting that we should take 2 jobs to overcome rising costs of living. Even the Prime Minister takes at least 3 jobs. He is the PM. He is the Finance Minister. He is 1MDB’s advisor. Life must be hard for him too.”

MP for Lembah Pantai Nurul Izzah Anwar, in sharing the news report where Ahmad made the remark, said: “menteri tidak merasa, maka mudahlah mengarah” (Minister’s don’t experience it, so it is easy to issue orders).

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said: “And the story continues for Datuk Ahmad Maslan. Yes guys, if you think the cost of living is too high – no worries, just take up 2 jobs. You can sell nasi lemak during weekends, or drive Uber cars in the evening. Rakyat didahulukan! (People first)”

On Sunday, news portal Astro Awani quoted Ahmad as making the call, saying that holding down two jobs was not uncommon as it was done by many around the world.

“I think it’s not wrong (to have two jobs) in Malaysia, though we have regulations, but it is still one way to address the rising cost of living.

“They can work during office hours and still run their online business…As long as they have enough sleep and come to work. They can run their business on weekends,” he was quoted as saying.

…more
Ahmad Maslan takes a beating for ‘work two jobs’ remark
December 28, 2015 – FMT

19
Jun
15

Is Najib deaf, deluded or in the twilight zone?

He continues to whistle his happy tune while the public fumes at the futility of meaningless and costly events.

COMMENT

Few things are admirable about PM Najib’s leadership of the country. Of the notable qualities of his six-year rule, foremost must be his talent for putting on a grand show to celebrate or herald all manner of government efforts and campaigns, including the loathsome GST.

Despite the brickbats thrown at him for the money spent on all the fanfare and confetti to usher his every announcement, he continues to whistle his happy tune while the public fumes at the futility of these meaningless and costly events. Perhaps the loud whistling allows him to deny hearing complaints about how ill-conceived and thoughtless some of his plans and actions really are. The people can no longer tell if he is just deaf, deluded, out of touch, or in the twilight zone.

He hears only the sweet songs of his cheerleaders, who say that all is well within the enchanted kingdom. They reassure him that the people are happy that all the bad dragons have been locked up or have been overpowered by his mesmerising speeches and everything is as it should be under his incomparable guidance.

The other skill he seems adept at is to overlook his own catastrophic misdeeds without attempting to explain or apologise for how he may have gotten it all so wrong.

Take, for instance, the blunder over 1MDB assets kept in Singapore. What the heck, why even bother answering for only the biggest gaffe in parliamentary history when there are proxies and paid publicists who can better explain an action that some have already labelled a crime? We suppose he could plead schizophrenia, but that would disqualify him from the job. Or the top cop could possibly be so kind as to say no action is necessary because he cooperated by swearing a solemn oath that there were no ill intentions, and then warn the public not to make political capital out of the episode.

His faith in the ability of his public relations team must be tremendous if he is counting on them to erase all memory of what was said to parliament about cash in the Singapore bank. Unfortunately, his publicity agents aren’t elected to the august house or sitting on the board of 1MDB to have any business addressing the federal legislators or the public on the matter.

When he does explain himself, he comes across as woefully inadequate and insincere by making out that the accusations of his detractors are just a plot to discredit him. The whole world can see that is not and cannot be an answer to explain the strange activities of the investment fund. He is implicated not because his detractors hate him and want to see him squirm, though it would give them immense pleasure, to be sure. It is because he is in charge as top regulator of all things financial. He is the Minister of Finance, is he not? And as the Prime Minister, he can open any door or window to let in maximum light without fumbling for any keys or the need to peep through keyholes.

That he is forced to use the argument that he’s been bashed by slanderous elements out to destroy his image and credibility is, for want of a better word, lame. This is not the attitude we expect from the head of a democratic government who must account for his actions and that of his cabinet. It is expected that explaining oneself and one’s actions is a major part of the job of being Prime Minister. He is even accountable for his team. So it won’t do to have others take the heat for the mess that originates from his decision making.

One topic that will remain relevant for some time is the GST. Why do small traders cite GST as the reason their prices go up? Najib’s people seem to be getting themselves into knots dealing with this issue. There’s really a simple explanation, and we give this short tuition to the Najib administration for free.

Even if their businesses are too small to warrant charging GST, the GST charges these petty traders pay for the various components they combine to make their finished goods have pushed their costs up.

…more
Is Najib deaf, deluded or in the twilight zone?
May 26, 2015 – FMT

24
May
15

Putrajaya dragging Malaysia off democratic path with mass arrests, watchdog says

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 – Putrajaya’s mass arrest of protesters rallying against the Goods and Services Tax (GST) yesterday should trigger alarm internationally over how the country is veering off the democratic path, global rights group Human Rights Watch said today.

Human Rights Watch’s Phil Robertson said the arrests are “nothing short of outrageous”, demanding that the federal government “immediately and unconditionally release all the peaceful May 1st anti-GST protesters”.

“This wave of arrests should raise alarm bells among international friends of Malaysia about just how far the powers that be in Putrajaya are dragging the country off the path of democratic, rights-respecting governance,” the deputy director of the watchdog’s Asia division said in a statement today.

Robertson stressed that authorities should not deem peaceful protest as illegal, stating: “Expressing views and holding a peaceful, public march should not be considered a crime in Malaysia or anywhere else in the world.”

The police reportedly arrested 29 people over the rally for alleged unlawful assembly, among other things, with police also reportedly seizing several “smoke bombs”.

The rally by civil society movement #KitaLawan kicked off shortly after 2.30pm yesterday afternoon from several meeting points and drew a reported crowd of nearly 10,000 participants to the streets of the capital.

There were no report of injuries or casualties arising from the rally, that is said to have progressed peacefully in a march by a sea of thousands of Malaysians clothed in red and black.

After the event, however, police claimed on their official Facebook account that the rally was not fully under control, citing incidents of alleged vandalism and smoke bombs being thrown by the protesters to back up its claim.

The police also said protesters had brought children to the rally – which could be an offence under the Peaceful Assembly Act.

…more
Putrajaya dragging Malaysia off democratic path with mass arrests, watchdog says
May 2, 2015 – MMO

20
May
15

The fables of GST according to Ahmad Maslan

GST WATCH: Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan is at it again. This time accusing traders who raise prices as being pro-opposition and out to tarnish Barisan Nasional.

“Traders who support the opposition will not lower prices and without ethics they stoke public anger because the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is a Barisan Nasional government policy,” he posted on Twitter.

Is there any empirical survey to support the notion that pro-opposition traders are the ones increasing prices? Or do these traders merely exist in the psychedelic fantasies of a delusional court jester out to save a sinking ship.

The simplistic notion that GST is better than Sales and Service Tax (SST), all because the tax rate is lower is simply wrong. At 6%, GST may seem lower than the 10% SST, but GST is a multi-level tax, that taxes the whole supply chain whereas SST taxes the end-consumer alone.

With GST, everything is taxed unless specifically mentioned as being exempted, while SST only allows tax for items that are stated as taxable. See the difference?

GST has a wider reach, allowing the government to draw in more income at all levels of society.

The notion that all products would be cheaper by 4% is false, because this line of thinking does not take into account the multilevel nature of the GST taxation structure.

Imports from overseas are GST-free, but the moment they enter Malaysia and get transported within our borders, GST applies. And as these goods change hands, GST is applied at every interchange. And ultimately the consumer has to pay the final 6% which is calculated after factoring in all overhead costs.

Can Ahmad Maslan assure us that there was an intentional reduction of cost throughout the supply chain, so that the eventual price of the item is reduced by 4% upon reaching the consumer?

Did the traders ethically decided to do business on a deficit by not taking a profit when the item changed hands throughout the supply chain?

Ahmad Maslan is explaining away a taxation system without taking into account the fundamental reason people do business – to make a profit. At every stage of a supply chain, profit has to be made or else it will drive many out of business.

Complex supply chains would inherently drive prices higher, take for example the construction industry. The supply chains that come together to construct a house would be levied the GST tax at every juncture. And even though the physical house itself may not be levied tax, the contributing push from the cost of production would drive the final selling price of the house up.

The compounded nature of the GST tax itself would offset the fabled 4% discount Ahmad Maslan so proudly proclaims.

So is it really pro-opposition traders who keep prices up?

The very nature of the GST taxation system itself is driving prices up. And traders who supply the eventual consumer are on the receiving end of a supply chain that is forced to pay 6% in tax and still make a profit. Eventually the cost of doing business – overhead and taxes – is passed onto the consumer.

In the end, can any sane person say that GST is good for a nation? A nation already struggling with a dipping economy, low wages and confused ministers who continually insult the intelligence of the very people that suffer under that tax.

…more
The fables of GST according to Ahmad Maslan
29 April 2015 – theantdaily.com

13
May
15

The world according to Ahmad Maslan

The Deputy Minister of Finance is clueless about a lot of things, especially economic matters.

COMMENT

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has the liberty to choose whomever he likes to fill up his Cabinet, but his deputy in the Finance Ministry is such a terrible choice. Ahmad Maslan, when he opens his mouth to speak, makes Najib look like an economic genius in comparison. Perhaps it is for this reason that Najib leaves the talking to him.

Ahmad Maslan is clueless, not just about the GST, but about many other things.

In January 2015, Ahmad claimed that once the GST was implemented, the government revenue would be around RM23 billion compared to RM13 billion under the current tax system.

During a visit to Kampung Kerilla, which was severely affected by the recent flooding, he said, “With the GST, we can build more basic facilities such as roads, bridges, schools, clinics, hospitals, mosques and government buildings, which require the allocation of billions of ringgit.”

Ahmad claimed that without the GST, the government would have found it difficult to cover contingency expenses needed to restore facilities destroyed by disasters.

Trust Ahmad to use people’s suffering to sell the GST. So, what would have happened if there had been no GST? Would none be given to the East Coast?

Last January, Ahmad blamed “lazy” and unemployed Malaysians for the influx of foreign migrant workers into the various industries. He said, “The three percent are the lazy ones. They are worse than just lazy. There are around 300,000 of them, who are just sitting and doing nothing.”

Unscrupulous companies prefer to exploit migrant workers, giving them ridiculously low wages and virtually no rights. They are cheaper than Malaysian workers. Ahmad is being disingenuous. His government’s policies are at fault, not the Malaysians he called lazy.

Ahmad, who is Umno-Baru’s information chief, tried to use the self-styled First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM) to convince the rakyat that the GST would benefit them. His idea flopped, and he had to do a lot of back-pedalling.

He said “I was there at the event and she (Rosmah Mansor) talked about how hairdressers who make house calls were charging up to RM1,200. She was only raising the issue. It’s not that she paid for it or used the services.”

…more
The world according to Ahmad Maslan
Mariam Mokhtar
April 17, 2015 – FMT

13
May
15

The self-sabotaging Najib

In his address to the nation, he once again failed to answer questions Malaysians are asking.

COMMENT

Our Prime Minister finally broke his silence last Tuesday night and tried to convince the nation that his government is on the right track. He showed off positive figures on the Government Transformation Programme, boasting that it has delivered 87% of 573 Key Performance Indicators set for 2014. It was an obvious attempt at putting on a game face in the midst of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s onslaught.

Impressive indeed, Prime Minister, impressive indeed, if we take those numbers at face value. However, giving us the GTP numbers does not answer the questions that have been raised by Mahathir and countless others.

Najib instead blew his own horn, never stepping on ground on which devils fear to tread, coming off once again as incapable and unaccountable to the people.

How many times must we ask about 1MDB, about the increasing racial and religious tension in Malaysia, about the GST before we get concrete answers from the man at the top? The calls for answers grow stronger every day, and it is mind boggling that Najib can brush them off like so much lint on his custom tailored suits. The opacity of his administration only makes his claims at transparency increasingly laughable, and his continued ducking of the issues chips away at any support he may have left among the people.

Thus, this is the only conclusion we can draw: our Prime Minister is a lost cause. If there was any doubt on whether Najib or Mahathir would win the battle they are engaged in, that doubt has been cleared in the light of his failure to acknowledge his desperate position. Good intentions for the nation or not, Najib has failed once again to make a case for himself on a national stage.

As a nation, we are more divided than we ever have been at any time in our history, or at least since May 1969. The cost of living has skyrocketed with the implementation of the GST. The 1MDB remains a source of concern, with billions of ringgit apparently disappearing down a black hole. The BR1M is a joke if it is meant to lower poverty levels on a meaningful scale, and Vision 2020 looks dimmer than ever.

…more
The self-sabotaging Najib
May 1, 2015 – FMT

30
Apr
15

GST hits low-income group hardest

GST hits low-income group hardest – S Ramakrishnan

The goods and services tax (GST) implementation seems to have hit a snag in the service sector. Service providers are now required to display their collective agreement in order to be able to exact service charges.

The service charge has been there for umpteen years but the customs department did not bother about it. But when it hinders the implementation of the GST, service charge becomes an issue. Now, restaurants and hotels have to display their collective agreement publicly to qualify for charging 10% service charges.

Many workers in the hotel and restaurant sector are not union members. This sector is dominated by foreign workers, so Malaysian workers in this industry have very little say. Therefore, as a responsible body, the customs department must ensure that all service charges collected on behalf of the workers go to the workers. Even when there are no formal collective agreements, service charges collected must be distributed among the workers.

GST should not impede the extra income earned by low-income workers. This group is already hard-hit by the rising cost of living. Minimum wages remain at RM900. Unless this group tightens its belt further, it risks defaulting on its instalment payments.

The government’s BR1M RM950 per year is far less when compared to the increase in prices due to GST. Every business, whether or not it is a collection centre, has increased its prices, citing GST payments.

It is common knowledge that wages have not kept up with productivity of labour since 1996. Besides wages make up only 28% of national income compared with Singapore 42%.

The fact that only 6.44% of workers i.e. 798941 out of 12.4 million workers are members of trade unions, speaks volumes about the decline in collective bargaining of workers. About 48% of Malaysian workers earn less than RM1000 per month. Therefore, 10% service charges to be distributed among workers must be retained and customs should threaten to abolish.

According to the World Bank, informal economy constitutes 31% of the Malaysian economy, almost double the percentage in other Asian countries such as Vietnam (15.6%) and Singapore (13%). This sector is too small to register as a collection centre and, therefore, has to absorb the 6% GST itself.

The informal sector also faces a high cost in sales, thus reducing its profit margin. If the registered GST collection centres cannot compete with the unregistered informal sector, more resources will be channelled into the informal sector, leading to reduced collection from the GST.

While the working class and informal sectors are facing the brunt of an increase in the cost of living and a higher cost when doing business, the Minister for Domestic Trade Datuk Seri Hassan Malek, says that GST collections will be used to construct roads, mosques, temples, schools, in the areas of human capital development and education, and for infrastructural repairs.

Talk sounds good, but Malaysians are flabbergasted and disappointed that the GST will also be used to repay debts, incurred due to the high cost of government procurement and the guaranteeing of reckless loans taken by government-owned companies like 1MDB and PFI.

…more
GST hits low-income group hardest – S Ramakrishnan
15 April 2015 – TMI




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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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