SEBERANG JAYA: The list of items affected by the Sales and Services Tax (SST) will be reviewed and changes will be made by year’s end, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
Lim said the government would factor in the views of the people.
He cited prawns as one of the items that could be affected by the changes. He noted that prawns were covered under the SST even though they were eaten by most people, because the seafood was lumped together with abalone.
He also mentioned bicycles and motorcycles under 250CC that were not affected by SST even though their accessories were.
“We will study all of these. We have been going around listening to feedback from the people,” he said after a briefing on SST this afternoon.
“Some are asking that certain items affected by the STT be taken off the list. As a concerned government, we will do the needful.
“Be patient. Give us some time and we will make the necessary changes by year’s end.”
Lim said there was bound to be confusion with the implementation of the SST nationwide today.
“We have no choice. We need to implement the SST, otherwise we will be operating on a deficit... We will have no money to pay salaries,” he said.
“We have done away with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) so we need to implement the SST.”
Lim also called for understanding from patrons of some nasi kandar restaurants who were angry because these outlets were charging the six per cent SST.
He said eateries that exceeded the RM1.5 million threshold annually were required to do so.
He said some nasi kandar outlet operators had told him that they were being scolded by customers, and even Customs officials were demanding to know why they were imposing the SST.
“I hope the patrons understand. It is not like their favourite nasi kandar joint purposely imposed the SST, but they have exceeded the treshold.
“Don’t fault these outlets. They are just being responsible and abiding by the law.”
Lim said Free Trade Zones, special areas and tax-free areas, such as Langkawi, were not subjected to the SST regime.
“In Langkawi’s case, apart from being duty-free, there will also be no SST.”
He said telecommunication companies must ensure that customers were given the full RM10 amount when they topped-up their mobile prepaid phones.
“We have issued a directive and we want all telecommunication companies to abide by it. The six per cent SST should not be passed on to customers,” he said.
Asked why some phone users were only getting RM9.43 of credit for a RM10 reload, he said: “This is a technical issues which needs to be ironed out. We will find out why this is still happening.”