By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By TMR
The patriotic spirit of “Malaysia Baru” seems to have manifested itself in the higher number of cars and buildings that are flying the Jalur Gemilang as Merdeka Day approaches.
Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd MD Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin said the rising nationalism is obvious this year as sales of the Jalur Gemilang have risen throughout this month.
“We have seen a 40% year-on-year increase in flag sales for August. What is also interesting to note is that a lot of the sales come from individuals, not corporates or NGOs (non-govern- mental organisations).
“I guess people are feeling more patriotic this time around with the renewed hope that ‘Malaysia Baru’ brings. As of yesterday, three million flags have been purchased and 70% of the stocks have been sold,” Ameer Ali told The Malaysian Reserve.
He said the national flag sales had dwindled in the last few years and most sales were largely supported by bulk purchases from government- linked corporations and its affiliated companies.
However, he said there has been an increase in sales this year — as demonstrated in the last 15 days.
“I expect this momentum to continue right up until Malaysia Day, especially in Sabah and Sarawak. The sales in East Malaysia would typically pick up as we move closer to Sept 16.”
On the performance of hypermarkets, Ameer Ali said Merdeka Day promotions and the impending re-implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) have sent consumers into panic buying mode.
Ameer Ali said many continue to have the impression that grocery items are taxable under SST and are, therefore, “stocking up” on daily goods.
“There is no need to go into panic because goods sold at hypermarkets are basically exempted. These are not big-ticket items. Unless if you talk about clothes and electrical goods, then those prices will likely increase,” Ameer Ali said.
He said most retailers have purchased their goods earlier and such products, under the Competition Act 2010, are not subjected to SST.
“In this regard, I expect most retailers to increase their prices on select items later in October,” he said. Over the course of the three-month tax-free period, Ameer Ali said Mydin’s sales performance has grown by3%to4%.
SST, which is a replacement to the zero-rated Goods and Services Tax, will come into effect on Sept 1, following the passing of related bills in the Dewan Negara.
The government expects a revenue of RM4 billion with the re-introduction of SST’s 10% rate for goods and 6% rate for the provision of services.