Did Johari sign the Goods and Services Tax (zero-rate supply amendment No.2) Order 2017 without understanding what he is signing? If so, do we have a puppet finance minister who will sign whatever order put on his table?

I find it astonishing and shocking that Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani told off the customs department that they cannot impose GST on items without the approval from the cabinet.

Johari is quoted saying the below by a bernama news report,

“The items are not supposed to be subject to GST at the moment. I have to tell it to the Customs authorities that each item to be subjected to the GST should be brought to the level of the Ministry of Finance and we will bring it to the cabinet.


“It (Customs department) cannot impose (GST) without the approval of the cabinet,”

Under the GST Act 2014 Section 17(4), only the minister has the power, by order published in the gazette to determine which goods are zero-rated.

The Goods and Services Tax (zero-rate supply amendment No.2) Order 2017 which was gazetted on the 2 June and will come into effect on 1 July 2017 was signed off by none other than Johari himself.

Did Johari sign the GST zero-rate supply amendment order without understanding what he is signing? If so, do we have a puppet finance minister who will sign whatever order being put on his table?

Or, is Johari trying to put the blame on the customs department after the decision to collect GST on necessity items such as vegetables, fruits and noodles earn the wrath of netizens?

There must be a due process before deleting items from the zero-rate supply order. The government must first seek public consultation especially from the business and consumer groups which will be directly affected.

I urged Johari himself to clear the air and explain how the zero-rate supply amendment No.2 order fiasco can happen since he is the one who signed off the order!

Media Statement by Chong Zhemin DAP Perak Economic Development Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to MP Taping on the 20th June 2017

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