Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Waiting For GST

There’s a famous play by Samuel Beckett called “Waiting for Godot”, where two characters hang around, talking and interacting, waiting for someone who never turns up. Malaysia’s GST saga, by turns tragic and comedic, definitely falls into the same mould.

Now it seems that at long last, Godot might actually arrive (excerpt):

GST implementation a must

KUALA LUMPUR: The implementation of a goods and services tax (GST) is a must and not an option.

Secretary-General of Treasury Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said at the half-year Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) update that the Government was trying its best to include it in Budget 2014 if everyone was agreeable to it.

Dr Mohd Irwan added that it would only be in place in 2015 if the Government announced it in the coming budget as it would take 14 months for the GST to be implemented.

Most of the opposition to GST is misplaced or misinformed, mostly because few realise how much tax they are already paying out under the current sales and service tax regime.

Will there be an increase in prices? It depends on the rate set, but generally speaking, the increase in prices will be only a one time affair, and will be a lot milder than people think. You might also be surprised to find quite a few prices dropping as well.

Will the tax burden be heavier? Yes it will, mainly due to a greater number of goods and services falling within the tax net. But the burden of taxation will be heaviest on higher income households, and again, the increase in taxation even for low income households will be comparatively mild.

Let’s get it over with, for crying out loud.


  1. Setuju benor Hisham. Penat dah dengar cakap pasal GST ni. Dah bertahun-tahun! Buat ajelah. Lepas tu pelan-pelan kurangkan personal income tax. Senyaplah lama-lama complain si middle and high income bracket.

    I wonder with GST, will all the prices be quoted nett? Really hate all the ++ price quoted by the hotels, fast food etc. Just quote the end price kan senang. As if we have a choice not to pay the ++ anyway.

    1. @anon 3.36

      Actually there's a good reason to quote prices with the ++. It's so people understand how much tax they are actually incurring. One of the communication problems with GST right now is that people are paying SST by the bucket load but don't realise it because sales tax is hidden in the price.

  2. how much govt stand to make, rm20 billion per year wss it from GST? Is it a significant increase from SST?

    1. @anon 7.13

      The exact increase won't be known until the GST rate is actually decided on, which it hasn't yet. SST collection in 2012 was RM15.1 billion.

  3. I support GST, but I have problem convincing my friends GST is good.

    They are so blinded by Pakatan's propaganda on 'we protest everything from BN'.

    After explaining to them the black market is huge, where illegal money such as corruption, drugs, prostitution money and more goes untaxed. Yet these people enjoy the same utilities such as road and other public services.

    I give up on those blind supporters. I read somewhere we are officially a net oil importer since february, how on earth can Anwar promise petrol to be RM1.50.

    If Petrol is 1.50, we will be subsidizing the Thais, Singaporean, Vietnamize, Indonesians and more. The black market will be too lucrative and smuggling will be the business to enter.

    sad, this country is hopeless.

  4. Historically implementation of gst spells the end of the government! Bring it on! bye bye BN! :)