How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Monday, May 04, 2015

Unnecessary confusion over GST on prepaid phone charges

What could have been a simple decision becomes confusion over indecisive and conflicting statements by a Deputy Minister and a Minister which required PM's instruction that only the Minister could make further statements.

Under the previous Sales and Service Tax (also at 6%), it was absorbed by the phone companies like Digi and Maxis, which means the amount charged to the consumers were inclusive of SST and presumably, the tax was duly remitted to Customs department. It was convenient to the consumers in terms of Rm5, Rm10, Rm30 and so on.

It could have been easy to replace the SST with GST, especially when the rate remains the same at 6%, with a mere change in name of the tax to existing accounting systems, so that the bill shows GST instead of SST.

Somehow, some people must have tried to shift the cost of the new GST to the consumers instead and since April 1, any top-up, say Rm5  was charged Rm5.30 (+ 6% GST). Why the change to add on the GST if not for the fact that the consumers are to bear the tax instead of the phone companies? It was confirmed by the Deputy Minister and since the public outcry, he promised it would revert to the old system with the companies absorbing the tax. Since then, there was disagreement over this between the DM and M and the policy remains that the tax will be borne by the consumers and DM had since denied he had promised to revert back to the old system.

In terms of value, 'sidikit sidikit, lama lama jadi bukit' seems appropriate, as a minister announced that the government would lose Rm800 million if it reverts back to the old system. How could this be when in the past, the phone companies would have paid their dues to the government, and they could be doing the same without burdening the public? The government would only lose out if the decision was to make it zero-rated instead.

No wonder some people have accused the government of siding the big companies instead of the common people, a case of 'robbing the poor to feed the rich few' or a reversal of the legendary Robin Hood's policy.

The minister just made a statement that he would be consulting the affected parties to come to a solution, describing it as not straightforward. As I can see it, there might be problems with the dealers, sub-dealers and sub-sub-dealers, with the latter two not even having legal status due to the informal arrangements. Why should the minister be concerned with sub-dealers who got into the act to make some money and they could be losing if they made a wrong decision because of any change? Motorists have been speculating on fuel prices since the decision to change prices every month subject to oil prices.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

GST punishes the poor. Poor man's food such as bean curd, tempeh, bread are standard rated. Pawnshop, the poor man bank is standard rated. Even steamboat, where most food items are raw and unprocessed, is standard rated. Something is surely wrong with classification of taxable items. It should be more "pro-poor" not to rob them of their meager income .