“The SST, to be re-introduced later, will be set at 10 per cent as stated in the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto,” said Lim Guan Eng. Pix by Sairien Nafis

PUTRAJAYA: The Sales and Services Tax (SST) will be set at 10 per cent when it replaces the the Goods and Services Tax (GST), said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Last week, the Ministry of Finance announced the GST would be set at zero per cent from June 1.

“The SST, to be re-introduced later, will be set at 10 per cent as stated in the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto,” said Lim.

“If, however, there is a change, we will make an announcement,” Lim said at the conclusion of his first day of work at Finance Ministry today.

International rating agencies namely S&P Global Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings had said the zero-rated GST would constraint government income should there be no revenue-raising measures.

Last week, Council of Eminent Persons member Tun Daim Zainuddin said he was unfazed about the credit ratings’ caution over the new government policies to re-introduce fuel subsidies and replace the six per cent GST with 10 per cent SST.

Like Daim, Lim said he was not worried by the possible downgrade of the country’s credit rating.

“Our country’s economic fundamentals is still strong. We are not too concerned about credit agencies’ ratings,” Lim said.

Last week, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa announced Tan Sri Mohamad Irwan Serigar Abdullah had been barred from carrying out his Treasury secretary general duties and was immediately transferred to the Public Service Department.

Irwan was appointed as treasurer-general on a contract basis from March 7, 2017, to March 6, 2019.

The new government decided to shorten his service contract to June 14, 2018.

When asked who would replace Irwan, Lim said he would soon consult Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad prior to making an announcement.

Currently, the three most senior civil staff in Lim’s ministry are Treasury deputy secretary-general (Policy) Datuk Siti Zauyah Md Desa, Treasury deputy secretary-general (Management) Datuk Ahmad Badri Mohd Zahir and Treasury deputy secretary-general (Investment) Datuk Seri Mohd Isa Hussain.

Reports by: AZURA ABAS, HAZWAN FAISAL MOHAMAD and OOI TEE CHING