Published on: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: The State Government has expressed support for the impending implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) next year.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the implementation of the GST, which was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when unveiling the National 2014 Budget last year, was a comprehensive, effective, efficient, transparent and business-friendly taxation system.
The GST taxation system was well accepted in the world as 160 countries were already implementing it, he said, adding that in the Asean region only Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Myanmar have not implemented it.
"This was also part of the renewal programmes on the nation's taxation system with the government taking steps to raise capability, efficacy and transparency in administration of taxes," he said at the Sabah National Economic Empowerment Seminar in Dewan Tabung Haji, Sembulan, here, Monday.
His speech was delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Yahya Hussin.
"Malaysia's participation in implementing the GST in its taxation system is the right step," he said, adding that it would assist in the standardisation of the taxation system among the Asean countries.
"I am also confident that the GST will be able to overcome various weaknesses in the old taxation system such as overlapping, double and multi-tier taxes as well as leakage of revenue due to changing of price activity among others," he said.
Musa, who is also State Finance Minister, said implementation of the GST at a lower rate of six per cent is expected to benefit consumers from the reduction of price of most goods and services.
According to him, the government was committed to implementing appropriate steps and policies to further boost the country's economy to a higher level in ensuring the people's needs are met.
In this respect, the State Government fully supported the Federal government's commitment in improving the nation's economic growth towards achieving the developed nation status by 2020.
In Sabah's context, Musa said that ever since the Barisan Nasional (BN) had taken over the State Government's helm many approaches and development policies had been introduced and implemented.
Among them were the Halatuju and Sabah Corridor Development (SDC) aimed at ensuring continuing economic growth throughout the state, which is known as holistic development, he said.
It had resulted in Sabah achieving encouraging and positive growth rate as shown by the increasing annual State's budget like for this year, the State Budget had increased to RM4.622 billion, the biggest in the state's history compared to RM4.088 billion in the previous year.
"At the same time, we also managed to increase the state reserves to touch RM3 billion.
I would like to stress here that the efforts to improve the state's financial standing and economic progress is a priority of the State BN Government," he said.
He said there were some quarters out to influence the thinking of the people by rejecting the transformation done by the government saying that all the things done by the government were only to burden the people.
However, Musa stressed that the government would never implement a policy that only create difficulty and non-beneficial for the rakyat.
"Whatever policy, measure or programme done by the government all of them have been thoroughly studied first before implemented," he said.
In the context of the goods price hike for example, middlemen were taking the advantage to increase the price to make bigger profits, he said.
Goods price also increased due to the action by manufacturers giving excuse that their production cost had increased due to the increase of fuel price and electricity tariff, he said.
"However, as consumers we must be smart in dealing with this. Among them is practice prudent spending and spend only when necessary or in other words we must reduce wastage and spend according to our means," he said.
He assured that the State Government in supporting the move by its Federal counterpart would continue to monitor the price of goods and take stern action against traders found purposely raising the price at their whims and fancies.
Musa also reiterated the State Government's support to the 11 cost saving measures introduced by the Federal Government announced by the Prime Minister recently.
Among them was to stop the practice of presenting mementos or souvenirs to the guest-of-honour in official government's function.
Towards this end, Musa urged the people particularly consumers to work hand-in-hand and support the cost saving measures call by the government.
The BN government, he said was also committed towards ensuring the strong unity and racial harmony for political stability, which had been the main reason for the Sabah and the country to continue enjoying development and progress all this while.