GST — overall financial implications to be considered, Zuraida says

PN promises to review all tax systems as part of new govt’s effort to tackle living costs issue


THE Perikatan Nasional (PN) government will consider overall financial implications before making any decision on the Goods and Services Tax (GST), said Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

Zuraida said the government needs to study various factors on the matter which will also involve various stakeholders.

“We will discuss to get the best formula for the people as this involves financial implications to the people, the government and also the system,” she told the media after clocking in at the KPKT office in Putrajaya yesterday.

She assured that this time, the government will set the right priority in considering the GST re-establishment.

“It will be discussed and finalised by the Cabinet,” she said. Zuraida is the only minister who retains her portfolio after the recent collapse of the previous Pakatan Harapan government.

Earlier in the morning, the newly appointed Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said PN will consider calls to reinstate the unpopular GST regime, promising to review all tax systems as part of the new government’s effort to tackle the living costs issue.

The GST was introduced at a 6% rate since April 2015 before it was abolished by the PH government in mid-2018. The tax was widely criticised and blamed for an overall price increase in the residential and commercial property industry.

On the same development, Zuraida said she will ensure that all of the previous policies set by KPKT will remain.

This includes all of the aims to provide 100,000 affordable houses a year for 10 years via the National Affordable Housing Policy overseen by the National Affordable Housing Council.

“These policies came under the same minister, so I think there are no major changes to the core policy,” she said, adding that some policies will be fine-tuned for an optimum result.

According to Zuraida, apart from continuing with the housing agenda, she will be focusing on the enforcement of the National Cleanliness Policy launched last November.

She said KPKT will call for Request for Proposal to build five waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities soon.

Among others, those WTE incinerators will be constructed in Sungai Udang (Melaka), Temerloh (Pahang) and Bukit Payong (Terengganu).

Zuraida said the country’s first WTE plant, built in Lukut, Negri Sembilan, is also ready for operation.

KPKT previously set an agenda to house one WTE facility in every state in the future. The move was made to minimise waste and landfill in the country besides supporting sustainable energy initiative.

Separately, Zuraida said she will follow up with the Attorney General’s Chambers over the death tragedy of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

“I will meet the new AG to follow up on this, as the previous one had taken a little bit of time to start the proceedings,” Zuraida said.

Muhammad Adib died on Dec 17, 2018, after suffering from critical injury while carrying out his duty in a riot at a temple in Subang Jaya, Selangor, on Nov 27.