Anwar promises GST will not be reintroduced

(Bernama) – The government has maintained that there is no need to bring back the goods and services tax (GST) going forward and is confident that efficient revenue collection can expand the national income.

Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the income level of the people is still low compared with countries with GST such as Singapore and Canada.

“We are not ready as the income level of the people is still low.

“Maybe in six months or one year, we would still not consider it,” he said in Parliament in response to queries from Datuk Dr. Zulkafperi Hanapi (PN-Tanjong Karang) who had asked whether the GST would be reintroduced after the upcoming state elections.

Anwar noted that Malaysia still has 130,000 people that are considered hardcore poor while those under the low income group of B40 are rising.

He said that efficient tax collection and the introduction of new taxes will expand government revenue, such as the capital gains tax and the tax on luxury goods announced in Budget 2023.

The prime minister highlighted the importance of avoiding tax leakages and preventing tax avoidance.

“So we should not compromise with those who avoid tax. That is why I want investigations to be made, including the Pandora Papers. If you cheat or steal government funds, you need to pay them back,” he added.