The Royal Malaysian Customs Department revealed the number of companies that have registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) stood at 94,943 as at October 17. Reports estimated that there were some 300,000 businesses in Malaysia with turnovers above half a million ringgit that must register for the GST by 31 Dec 2014.
Astonishingly, the government only set a target of 140,000 registered companies by year end which is not even half of the number of companies required to register for GST. Even by setting such a low target, Deputy Finance Minister Chua Tee Yong has confessed last month that the Government’s target of 140,000 registered companies by year end was still way off.
This proves that Malaysians are not ready for the implementation of the GST. The government has failed to provide enough information and assistance to help Malaysian companies with the transition phase from SST to GST.
It is not only Malaysians are not ready, even Barisan Nasional is not ready for the GST implementation!
Prime Minister Najib Razak in his 2015 budget speech mentioned that RON95 and diesel will be exempted from GST (dikecualikan cukai). His announcement was interpreted as RON95 and diesel will be zero-rated. However RON95 petrol and diesel do not appear in the recently released list of GST exempt or zero-rated items.
Wong Poh Geng, a tax director at the accounting and professional services firm, said in a Deloitte Seminar yesterday that legislation on GST exemption for RON95 petrol and diesel is incomplete.
I urge Najib to immediately clarify if RON95 and diesel will be a GST exempt or zero-rated product.
It is completely unthinkable that such huge uncertainty had not been dealt with in the Budget announcement. Putrajaya must immediately finalise the GST exempt list and zero rated item list. With five months into the implementation of GST, not only Malaysians are not ready, it is evident that even Barisan Nasional is not ready for GST.
I call on Najib to postpone the implementation of GST indefinitely and give Malaysians for time to prepare for this transition period.
Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Economic Development Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to Taiping MP on 21 Oct 2014