by AZALEA AZUAR / pic by BERNAMA
THE government needs to address financial leakages that are worth RM300 billion as well as maintain their momentum in revitalising the economy which has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Retail and Trade Brands Advocacy Malaysia Chapter (RTBA Malaysia) hoped that next year, politicians would be more cohesive in formulating and supporting policies that will help legitimate local businesses to recover and grow in a pandemic world.
According to RTBA Malaysia MD Datuk Fazli Nordin, RM400 billion was allocated for the 12th Malaysia Plan which was launched a month ago.
It would generate the multiplier effect to recover Malaysia’s economy and it would also help businesses and individuals nationwide.
“Nevertheless, it is critical that the 12th Malaysia Plan is implemented in a strategic and well-thought-out manner to ensure positive outcomes and prosperity for all Malaysians,” he said in a statement.
Fazli also urged that the government’s efforts to curtail leakages is also working and must be sustained, otherwise enhanced.
“A series of initiatives to counter the illegal cigarette trade, which has caused the Government to lose RM5 billion annually in uncollected revenue, was implemented in 2021.
These include, amongst others, a freeze on the issuance of new import licences for cigarettes, tightening the renewal of import licences for cigarettes, limiting transshipment of cigarettes to dedicated ports, imposition of tax on the import of cigarettes with drawback facilities for re-export, disallowing transshipment of cigarettes and re-export of cigarettes by small boats,” he added.
Enforcing these policies would reduce the sales of illegal cigarettes by 5.9% from 63.8% in 2020 to 57.9% in May 2021.
These downtrend sales of illegal cigarettes is a positive indication that the government should maintain these initiatives to bring revenue back to public coffers, although there are many things that need to be done.
“RTBA Malaysia also stressed that a stable Government is very important to ensure that economic plans and stimulus and policies to address leakages can be carried out effectively.
“Political stability also attracts foreign direct investments while establishing a better foundation for the Administration to combat crime and corruption,” Fazli mentioned.
RTBA Malaysia is part of an international advocacy group which aims to protect businesses in the Asia-Pacific Region from heading towards unlawful practises.