GEORGE TOWN: Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng slammed former prime minister Najib Razak on Monday (Sep 10) for criticising the Sales and Services Tax (SST) being imposed on a restaurant selling "kuih pau" or steamed buns.
"I’m astonished, when he (Najib) charged GST (Goods and Services Tax) last time, he didn’t complain. At that time (GST) 6 per cent, now also 6 per cent, why at that time he didn’t complain, but he is complaining now," said Lim.
Lim said that Najib did not hear the grumblings from the people regarding the GST during the Barisan Nasional government's administration, but only started to complain after the implementation of SST.
On Sunday, Najib lamented on Twitter that the “kuih pau” he bought was charged SST. He also attached photo of the the receipt which showed the SST amount of RM3.80 (S$1.26).
"Stopped at Pau Yik Mun restaurant, Tg (Tanjung) Malim to buy pau. Clearly SST is imposed even though this shop is mid-sized! Pau shop also subject to SST," wrote Najib.
Lim, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bagan, said: "We hope the former premier don’t become a hero now. When he imposed GST at 6 per cent (the situation) was far worse. Now (SST) we are being quite flexible compared to before.
"Apparently, only now he realised, go to the shop must pay 6 per cent, before this, he was unaware all shops charge 6 per cent," added Lim.
Lim said the implementation of SST was different from GST as only one-third of items were subject to SST, whereas the GST was imposed on all goods and services.
"Under SST we are a bit flexible, we set annual revenue or threshold value of RM1.5 million ... three times higher than GST. So, not all are subject to SST, only those with revenue exceeding RM1.5 million must pay SST," Lim said.
"Not like GST, everything is taxed. It’s a ‘clean sweep’ tax. You carry out business, have to pay tax, don’t do business, also pay tax, poor people also have to pay (GST)."
SST was implemented from Sep 1 at 10 per cent for sales tax and 6 per cent for services tax. It replaces the 6 per cent GST, which was introduced by the previous government to replace SST in 2015.