Posts Tagged ‘GST



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

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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

14
Apr
15

Will the GST be the last straw for Najib?

COMMENT Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will go down in the history of this country as the man who ‘bulldozed’ his way to implement the goods and services tax (GST).

It is a bold move, but it may cost him his job, his popularity and the support that Barisan Nasional (BN) will receive in the coming general election.

Other prime ministers in the past would have reviewed the situation on the ground before deciding whether to proceed or postpone the GST, but a hard-pressed Najib has plunged ahead with his new consumption tax structure despite facing protests by the people.

Barely a year ago, on May 1 last year, some 50,000 protesters, who were mainly Malays, had descended into the streets of Kuala Lumpur to make their voices heard, but this has sadly fallen on deaf ears.

Two anti-GST protests in the past one month have seen over 80 protesters being arrested for trespassing into the Kelana Jaya Customs office, a clear sign that Najib is not hearing the people.

Within less than an hour after I started writing this article, the #KitaLawan movement secretariat has announced that it will again take the protest against GST to the streets of Kuala Lumpur on May 1. Because I am affected, and May 1 being a public holiday, I may also join the street protest myself.

Why? Allow me to give my analysis for free.

After all that have happened, Najib has to take cognisance that the people are angry because they not only have to pay the GST now, but that major issues on corruption, the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) saga, and other abuses of public funds have not been addressed adequately despite being highlighted year after year by the Auditor-General’s Report.

Why do I, as a taxpayer of this country, now have to pay for the inefficiency of civil servants and even the well-known corruption of our politicians? Name it, we have all the scandals in this country, and this is a fact! Please understand these are the sentiments of the ordinary people on the street.

I have time and again warned the government that the implementation of the GST would cause a number of street protests and even work-related strikes in 2015; therefore, Najib has to take heed of the voice of the people, instead of playing the oblivious game.

As if adding salt to the wound, the video clip produced by the Royal Customs and Excise Department, which has gone viral on social media after it was broadcast on news portals, is in fact, viewed as “distasteful” for many.

For their creativity, I would give them the thumbs-up, but I question the ‘timeliness’ of releasing the video clip. Instead of addressing controversial issues why sardines are charged GST, whereas the lobsters are not, these officers appeared happily singing away about the GST, while many of us have to tighten our belts.

Many of would give the Royal Customs office the top notch if they had managed to frequently bust syndicates which smuggle in luxury cars, tobacco products and other items into the country without paying the duties.

With all this adding up, will this be the last straw for Najib and the entire BN coalition?


…more
Apr 2, 2015 – malaysiakini
By Stephen Ng
Will the GST be the last straw for Najib?

01
Apr
15

Najib’s push for GST is riling up the nation’s citizens

Najib’s push for GST is riling up the nation’s citizens – J.D. Lovrenciear

Senior Barisan Nasional MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has said what all citizens have been crying out in vain, namely, that the nation is “not yet able to handle the added strain on their finances”.

Yet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration is hell bent on pushing ahead with the GST implementation come April 1, 2015.

Even former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – known for his belt tightening measures and bulldozing through policies in the name of nation-building – has said to the same effect that the people are not ready to be yoked further with Najib’s GST plans.

But the deputy finance minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan claims that “GST from the people will be returned to the people for their good”.

Such counter-arguments from Najib’s camp draws more ridicule. People are already asking, “what sense is all this about?”

On the one hand the government gives handouts in the form of BR1M in a desperate effort to demonstrate that Najib’s government is a caring government that understands the peoples suffering.

And on that same breath, the GST is going to burden the rakyat even more.

Is Najib’s entourage going to tell the people that Dr Mahathir and the former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh are wrong? Or that they are anti-government elements?

Even the argument that the government wants to collect the money to give it back to the people sounds all too hollow especially when the claim comes in the wake of billions of ringgit that are going unaccounted for.

Even the well respected Ku Li has hinted on that, has he not in the Parliament lobby today?

The reality on the ground is indeed very worrying. Businessmen are all confused. Traders are not getting clear answers. The financial and human resource and technology pressures the GST implementation will put on the business community will eventually trickle down to the consumers who will become the victims of this grand GST militancy that Najib is pushing for.

…more
Najib’s push for GST is riling up the nation’s citizens – J.D. Lovrenciear
17 March 2015 – TMI

25
Mar
15

Why are lobsters exempted from GST?

Lobsters Exempted

Why are lobsters, not books and medicines, exempted from GST? PKR MP asks

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 – A PKR lawmaker questioned today Putrajaya’s rationale behind imposing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on healthcare and education when luxury food items like lobsters are being exempted.

Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar echoed similar calls by her Pakatan Rakyat (PR) colleagues to exclude all scheduled medicines from the new consumption tax system, saying the current list of zero-rated items would only profit the “crony class”.

“Lobsters are exempted, but medicines and books are taxed… who eats lobsters everyday? I know the people in my constituency don’t,” Nurul Izzah told a press conference in Parliament lobby.

“Ordinary Malaysians are being asked to pay directly or indirectly, for these projects through the regressive GST and abolition of subsidies to fill the Treasury’s deficit-ridden coffers,” she said.

The PKR vice president pointed out that patients at private healthcare facilities will have to pay the GST for medical aids such as crutches, wheelchairs and artificial limbs.

Apart from that, she said medicines for cancer patients, kidney-related illnesses and HIV patients are also excluded from the zero-rated list.

The Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia (APHM) has estimated that healthcare costs will rise between 4 and 5 per cent after the GST as medical supplies are subjected to the tax system, scheduled for implementation next year.

Meanwhile, Nurul Izzah said findings by the International Publisher Association (IPA) have shown that 47 out of 51 countries that impose the GST have either introduced special discounts or exemptions on printed books.

“I think the government has to understand this demand.

“They are making lobsters exempt from GST because the government has under NKEA project harvesting lobsters in Sabah.

“So for me, there is a disconnect between what ordinary Malaysians are facing once the tax regime is in place versus what their vested interests are involved with,” she said.

…more
Why are lobsters, not books and medicines, exempted from GST? PKR MP asks
November 25, 2014 – Malay Mail Online

21
Mar
15

Taxi, bus fares UP, UP, UP

Naik, Naik, Naik

Fare hike too sudden, steep, says think tank

The hike in budget taxi and express bus fares to be implemented on April 1 will be a double blow to consumers who will also be hit with the goods and services tax (GST) that will be implemented on the same day, said independent think tank Institut Rakyat.

Its executive director, Yin Shao Loong, said the 43% fare hike for taxis and 23% hike for express buses announced by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) earlier today is a sudden and sharp hike.

He said this steep increase represented a regulatory failure on SPAD’s part, as the agency was supposed to conduct fare reviews every two years with focus on small and manageable increments of 10%.

“Having failed to conduct a fare review for the last six years, SPAD has now opted for a sharp and sudden increase,” Yin said in a statement.

“While taxi and bus operators may enjoy a sudden boost in income to offset the increased costs with the GST, their customers will suffer a 30% or more, increase in their transportation budget come April 1.”

Yin admitted that the various problems raised by taxi passengers, including haggling over the fare and unmetered rides, were due to inadequate economic incentives provided by the existing fare structure.

But he said that SPAD should also consider the interest of consumers, who are also struggling to make ends meet.

Yin said SPAD should have considered a gradual increase in fares to balance both consumer and business interests, which would help promote the use of public transport in the country.

He said a gradual phase-in of the overdue fare increase, at 10% at regular intervals over a period of one to two years, would be fairer than making up for six years in one fell swoop.

…more
Fare hike too sudden, steep, says think tank
19 March 2015 – TMI

16
Mar
15

New private jet for PM?!

New Jet!

Putrajaya has ordered new private jet for PM, says Rafizi

PKR have revealed today that Putrajaya has just ordered a new private jet for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s use.

Its secretary-general, Rafizi Ramli, told reporters this at the Parliament lobby today that this brings the tally to seven jets owned by the government.

The Pandan MP said the latest addition to the fleet – Airbus ACJ320 – was secured through a direct negotiation hire-purchase deal with Jet Premier One (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

He said this is the same company handling the current jet commonly used by the prime minister – Airbus ACJ319 – which was secured for RM28.8 million yearly in hire purchase and RM5.5 million in yearly maintenance cost, adding that all these did not include the cost of fuel.

“Even the 1Malaysia logo has been painted on it.

“This shows the Najib administration is continuing with its wasteful ways, just as the people are shocked to find out about the 1MDB scandal,” he said.

Rafizi said the purchase of the jet, using the taxpayers’ money, was bound to fuel the people’s anger, given that the GST would be implemented in two weeks time.

…more
Putrajaya has ordered new private jet for PM, says Rafizi
16 March 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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