"The goods and services tax (GST) that took effect today is ""halal"" and will not burden the people, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Speaking at the World Halal Summit 2015 today, Najib said the National Fatwa Council had given its stamp of approval to the 6% consumption tax, that applies to a broad range of goods and services beginning today.
""It's confirmed by our fatwa. The National Fatwa Council has said that GST is halal.
""Therefore it is appropriate for me to mention this today at this function,"" Najib said when giving the keynote address at the summit, held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre today.
Najib said introducing the GST was an important move for Malaysia which aimed to be a high income nation.
""This is a historic move for the country's tax reform. It is ensure a more efficient taxation system that is also effective, transparent, easy to use and which will contribute to ensuring that Malaysia achieves its goal of being a high income nation by 2020,"" Najib said.
He added that Putrajaya had conducted detailed studies before implementing the GST as the system allowed exemptions for many goods and services.
""Implementation of GST in Malaysia has gone through a careful and detailed study for almost 30 years.
""Our GST exempts many goods and services, and is said to be among the most complicated GST structure in the world,"" Najib said, adding that there were close to 4,000 goods that were exempted from the tax, or zero-rated.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said these exemptions were meant to lighten people's burden in adjusting to the tax.
""We introduce the tax this way, because we want people to accept it gradually.""
To help consumers, he reiterated the announcement made when he tabled the budget last year that personal income tax had been slashed by 1% to 3% and corporate taxes from 25% to 24%.
At the same time, he said the government has also made cash payouts through the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) fund to aid the lower-income group.
""Overall, the tax structure has been crafted so that it will not burden the people,"" he said. – April 1, 2015."
Source: Malaysian Insider