Participants Commend Content-rich Gst Conference Led By Bernama

By Jason Tan Ling King

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 (Bernama) -- Participants who attended the National Goods and Services Tax (GST) Conference 2014 led by the Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama, commended the event as a content-rich and useful gathering which raised their awareness of GST to be implemented next year.

Over 200 participants across all industries who attended the conference jointly organised by Bernama and Tax Advisory and Management Services Sdn Bhd (TAMS) said it was an invaluable chance to gain first-hand information on GST.

The event held on July 10 and 11, 2014, drew attendees from the finance, automobile, manufacturing, food and beverage, human resources, technology, as well as engineering and public relations sectors.

Participants praised the quality of the invited speakers and officials, who they said were well-versed with GST and provided comprehensive presentations on the impact of the new tax regime across various industries.

The presenters included Tan Sim Kiat, Deputy Director of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department and Annie Thomas, Assistant Director, Royal Malaysian Customs Department, as well as Yong Poh Chye, Executive Director of TAMS.

"The National GST Conference was very timely as there has been a lot of misconception about it and people are generally concerned about its impact.

"But we walked out of the conference hall feeling very much at ease, as it was content-rich and useful for both companies and the average man on the street," said UniPacific Corporate Services Sdn Bhd Executive Director, Peter Phang.

Phang, who attended all the sessions on both days, was particularly impressed by presentations of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.

"The officials gave us detailed, step-by-step guidelines on the GST regime, and were very approachable after the sessions and interacted with us," he said.

A speaker, Raja Datuk Abd Aziz Raja Muda Musa, the Vice-President of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers said many manufacturers were still not ready to implement the GST with some adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

"Therefore, seminars such as this help educate companies, and prompt them to gear up for the implementation before it is too late," he added.

The conference was officiated by Minister of Finance ll, Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

Bernama's Senior Manager, Media and Database Service Rita Gomez, agreed that the GST had yet to be fully understood by many.

"GST conferences such as this organised by Bernama, can help create and raise awareness among businesses, companies and the people at large," she added.

Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (REHDA) Patron, Datuk Ng Seing Liong, who also spoke at the conference, highlighted numerous issues and uncertainties on GST faced by property-related industries.

Tan from the Customs Department gave almost instant responses to Ng to clear the air and also spoke on the impact of GST on tourism-related industries.

Annie's presentation on GST's impact on manufacturing and the distributive trade also drew numerous responses from the audience during and after the conference.

Customs Department Director-General Datuk Seri Khazali Ahmad said in his closing remarks that he looked forward to working with Bernama in organising more such events in other parts of the country and called on companies to be GST-compliant as soon as possible and not wait until the last minute.

An expo by companies on GST-compliant software held alongside the conference also drew encouraging response from participants.

The GST at six per cent to be implemented in Malaysia on April 1, 2015, aims to make the nation's tax collection system more efficient.


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