PUTRAJAYA, Oct 3 -- Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's statement on Goods and Services Tax (GST) today does not mean a decision had already been made to re-introduce the broad-based consumption tax system, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said.
From his understanding of media reports, Saifuddin said what Dr Mahathir meant was that the government would study the need to re-introduce GST if that was what the people wanted.
"If the people want the GST reinstated, the government will conduct a study. The Prime Minister did not say the government will implement it straight away. No, he did not say that,“ Saifuddin told reporters after launching the 2020 Catering Industry Action Plan at his ministry here today.
Dr Mahathir when met by the media after launching the Security and Public Order Policy (DKKA) here today reportedly said the government would review the need to re-introduce the GST system if that was what Malaysians wanted.
Earlier, the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) had urged the government to reintroduce GST at a lower rate of three per cent, in the 2020 Budget.
GST was enforced at a rate of six per cent on April 1, 2015 but was later abolished and replaced with the Sales and Service Tax (SST) from Sept 1, 2018.
On the 2020 Catering Industry Action Plan themed 'Driving the Catering Industry and Consumer Awareness', Saifuddin said the move was to address issues faced by the catering industry and to protect the rights and interests of consumers.
He said the plan was drafted following complaints received by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) on catering services which had increased from five in 2014 to 65 in 2018.
"The complaints were over inadequate food supply, poor food quality, late delivery, food served not up to expectation, poor service and non-compensation when orders were not fulfilled,” he said.