Home Civil Society Voices Pelaksanaan semula GST di Malaysia bukan langkah tepat – Ikram (Malay/English)

Pelaksanaan semula GST di Malaysia bukan langkah tepat – Ikram (Malay/English)

Cartoon courtesy of cartoonkafe.com and Merdeka Review

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Pengumuman Perdana Menteri Ismail Sabri Yaakob berhubung hasrat kerajaan untuk memperkenalkan semula cukai barang dan perkhidmatan (GST) dibuat ketika ekonomi negara masih belum pulih sepenuhnya akibat daripada pandemik Covid yang berlarutan selama dua tahun yang lepas.

Kerajaan dilaporkan sedang menimbang untuk memperkenalkan semula GST bagi meningkatkan hasil negara dan menampung subsidi awam.

Dilaporkan, kerajaan mensasarkan kadar GST yang tidak terlalu tinggi yang boleh membebankan rakyat, namun tidak terlalu rendah yang tidak mampu untuk menambahkan hasil.

GST dikatakan satu sistem percukaian yang lebih berkesan, telus dan adil. GST juga dijangka dapat meningkatkan ekonomi dan daya saing negara.

Kesan pelaksanaan GST

Namun, semenjak pertama kali GST diperkenalkan pada tahun 2015, kerisauan telah ditimbulkan berkenaan kesan sistem cukai ini kepada golongan miskin, berpendapatan rendah dan pertengahan.

Dengan kadar sama rata ke atas penggunaan barang dan perkhidmatan, GST menyebabkan golongan berpendapatan rendah menanggung perbelanjaan cukai yang lebih daripada pendapatan mereka berbanding golongan berpendapatan tinggi.

Hal ini tentunya memberi tekanan kewangan kepada golongan miskin, berpendapatan rendah dan pertengahan yang paling terkesan akibat pandemik dan ditambah pula mutakhir ini dengan kenaikan harga makanan.

Untuk peniaga-peniaga kecil, kesan negatif GST boleh disebabkan oleh tempoh yang diperlukan untuk mendapat pulangan cukai dan seterusnya mengakibatkan masalah aliran tunai.

Pelaksanaan semula GST

Hakikatnya, memperkenalkan semula GST tidak lain hanyalah menukar mekanisme pengutipan cukai sedangkan masalah-masalah pokok yang dihadapi negara tidak diselesaikan.

Tumpuan kerajaan sewajarnya diberikan ke arah mengubah perkara-perkara pokok yang bagai duri dalam daging.

Permasalahan-permasalahan berhubung tadbir urus, produktiviti, rasuah dan mewujudkan nilai tambah dalam ekonomi melalui teknologi, pembangunan sumber manusia dan pendidikan hendaklah ditangani secara terancang dan serius.

READ MORE:  GST: The second coming

Tanpa perubahan dari sudut-sudut ini, Malaysia tidak akan mampu untuk bangkit menjadi negara yang progresif dan makmur.

Cegah rasuah

Sudah menjadi satu keperluan yang mendesak agar rasuah dan ketirisan dana awam ditangani secara serius.

Apabila dibandingkan, kerugian negara akibat rasuah (sekitar 4% – 6% peratus daripada keluaran dalam negara kasar) adalah RM50bn, iaitu melebihi daripada RM20bn hasil yang berkurang setiap tahun apabila GST digantikan dengan cukai jualan dan perkhidmatan (SST).

Sehubungan itu, pencegahan rasuah adalah kritikal untuk mengurangkan beban kewangan kerajaan dan memulihkan persepsi pelabur terhadap Malaysia.

Untuk menyokong usaha mencegah rasuah oleh sektor awam, gerakan antirasuah oleh organisasi masyarakat madani seperti Rasuah Busters perlu dipergiat dan disokong oleh semua pihak.

Matlamat akhir ialah untuk mewujudkan masyarakat yang mengamalkan toleransi sifar terhadap rasuah dan penyalahgunaan kuasa.

Inisiatif antirasuah berjalan seiring dengan usaha untuk mengangkat pemimpin yang mempunyai moral yang tinggi, berintegriti dan berwibawa dalam sistem demokrasi yang menegakkan keadilan, kesaksamaan dan kemakmuran bersama. – Ikram

English version

GST reinstatement a quick fix but Malaysia’s fundamental problems remain – Ikram

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s announcement on the potential reinstatement of the goods and services tax (GST) came on the back of an economic situation that is yet to recover following a pandemic, having been in a number of prolonged lockdowns throughout the past two years.

The reinstatement of GST is purportedly to boost federal coffers to tackle inflation and cushion the financial burden of subsidies for the people. A noble cause indeed.

To expand the revenue base, it is reported that the government would aim for a GST rate that is lower than before, yet not so low that it defeats the purpose of expanding tax revenue for the government.

READ MORE:  GST: The second coming

Proponents of the GST argue that GST is very efficient, transparent and fair. It is a business-friendly taxation system that can improve the country’s economy and provide stronger competitiveness to the country’s exports.

However, since the first introduction of the GST in 2015, concern has been raised as to the regressive nature ofaffected GST. As a consumption tax, GST taxes a flat rate where the poor, low and middle-income groups pay a higher proportion of their income on GST compared to the higher income groups.

This is particularly concerning, following a pandemic that has disproportionately affected poor and vulnerable Malaysian households, as well as increases in food prices due to the ongoing food security issue. For small businesses that are yet to fully recover, GST may disadvantage them due to the time taken to receive GST refunds, leading to a cash flow burden.

Instead of focusing on reinstating the GST, which is just a mere change of mechanism in the taxation system, the government should focus on reforms that would help to address the fundamental issues plaguing our country.

This is in view of Malaysia’s predicament of being in a middle-income trap, which should be addressed seriously by the government by improving governance, boosting productivity, weeding out corruption and promoting a value-added economy through the adoption of technology as well as focusing on human capital and the education system.

Without concrete and lasting changes that would alleviate the country’s problems, Malaysia would not become a progressive nation.

As a matter of urgency, corruption and leakages of public funds must be addressed more seriously. Malaysia’s position is 62nd in the latest world Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranking, a drop from 57th in 2020.

READ MORE:  GST: The second coming

Corruption eradication is thus essential in reducing the governments’ financial burden and improving Malaysia’s standing among investors.

To complement the governments’ efforts to combat corruption, the anti-corruption movement by the people through civil society organisations such as Rasuah Busters should be lauded and supported by all.

The ultimate aim is to create a society with zero tolerance for corruption and abuse of power. This endeavour goes hand in hand with promoting leaders of high moral-ethical integrity within a democratic ecosystem which upholds justice, equity and shared prosperity. – Ikram

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme

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