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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

(The Star) All ready to adjust on Friday

GEORGE TOWN: Three years after the implementation of the 6% Goods and Services Tax (GST), traders and businesses now have to adjust to another change when the tax is zero-rated beginning June 1.

Duck kuey chap (braised duck soup noodle) stall owner Por Han Kee, 33, remembered the time they struggled to be familiar with GST.

“We had to learn a new system and we were so kelam kabut (in chaos). We did not know how to go about it and struggled,” he said at his stall in Kimberley Street here yesterday.

Now with the GST being zero-rated, it will be a new learning process again, he said.

“I won’t say it’s mahuan (Hokkien for troublesome) because all we need to do is shift the 6% to zero per cent but there will be an extra process involved,” he added.

Por said he will reduce the price of kuey chap by 50 sen beginning June 1.

Currently, a small bowl of the dish is sold at RM8 while the big one costs RM10.

Lee Tak Tsong, owner of Cheng Woh Medical Hall Sdn Bhd in Campbell Street, hoped the zero per cent GST move would spur more sales.

“Before the GST took effect on April 1, 2015, people rushed to buy more goods. Now, we hope the opposite will take place, and people will buy more from June 1.

“My customers are also holding back their purchases, they are either buying less or waiting until June 1,” he said.

Small and Medium Enterprises Association Malaysia (Samenta) national secretary Yeoh Seng Hooi said zero-rating the GST should have a positive impact on demand.

“However, for SMEs, there are costs to adjust the software and re-tag the products. Some leeway should be given during the transition.

“I hope the authorities will not be overzealous in enforcing the Anti-Profiteering Act. Find out and get the explanation from the SMEs before taking any action.

“Zero-rating means that SMEs have to make sure that they don’t get confused with exempt products. They have to be more vigilant in the submission of GST returns during the transition,” he said.

Yeoh said the refunds on the input tax paid before June 1 should be made more expediently.

“Three months is a long time.“SMEs will adjust the retail prices as they hope that demand will be stimulated. After all, they don’t earn the 6%,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Asso­cia­tion of Hotels Penang chapter chairman Khoo Boo Lim said it is helping its members – slightly over 80 hotels – through the process.

“The zero per cent GST is applicable to all hotel services, which include room rates and F&B (food and beverage).

“The transition should be smooth,” he said.

The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry has warned traders to abide by the zero per cent GST ruling or face stern action.

Its enforcement director Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin said action will be taken against errant traders under the Enforcement of Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 1999 and the Trade Descriptions Act 2011.