The government's propaganda machinery has been working over the past one year to explain what GST is, trying to get the rakyat understand its 'benefits'.
I visited a few marts and supermarkets on the weekend, making price comparison before and after GST comes into force. The 6 per cent hike is (to me) quite burdensome.
I just wonder why some government jokers had the chick to urge the rakyat to buy cars, TV, washing machines, refrigerators and motorbikes before GST because the prices are cheaper. Idiots, sorry to say.
People don't buy car, TV and refrigerators everyday, fools! Beside rice and cooking oil that will be GST-exempted, we 'makan' bread, sardines, biscuits and other things.
You are still leaving us in the dark. Where's the list if GST-exempted items? You think each and every house in Malaysia has computer and Internet access?
Putrajaya must change its current approach of educating the public on the goods and services tax (GST) by publishing immediately a list of tax-exempted items in every newspaper in the country, said former MITI minister.
She said Putrajaya’s reliance on the use of cartoons, billboards and technical jargon such as "zero-rated" for the past year to explain GST has left Malaysian consumers, including herself, more confused over the new tax system.
"I personally think that right now, we should have a complete list of the categories that are exempted, so the public will know which (items) won’t be taxed.
"It should be made available in all the newspapers, in all languages, and it should not be technical,” Rafidah told The Malaysian Insider.
"Our problem is that the explanation so far has not been clear. The government has been using different sources or different approaches, and most of them have been very technical.
"For instance, who understands what ‘zero-rated’ means? Why can’t they just use the phrase ‘tak kena GST’ or ‘no GST’. That’s much simpler and easier to remember.”
She said it was also important that Putrajaya first cleared the air over which items would not be taxed, so that consumers would not rush to stores and hoard goods unnecessarily in anticipation of the GST.
Rafidah said the newspaper pull-out would also help consumers identify traders who raise prices on items that were not affected by the GST.
"Let’s say on April 1, I read the newspaper and I see that soap will not be taxed. Then I go to the supermarket and see they are charging me 6% for it. Thanks to the pull-out, I know they are cheating me and I can report this.She added that Putrajaya could pay for the newspaper pull-out as the cost involved would be far less than erecting large billboards across the country.
"Forget about the various codes, the technical jargon and whatnot. All that is irrelevant,” said Rafidah.
One of Putrajaya's efforts to educate the public on GST through a music video recently received heavy criticism from Malaysians after went viral on the internet.
The video, purportedly created by the Customs Department, hailed the virtues of implementing GST, but was panned by critics as "sad", "cheesy" and "reminiscent of the 1970s".
In the meantime, to ease the transition period, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry has set up a round-the-clock operations room to monitor prices after the GST kicks off.
Located at Precinct 2 in Putrajaya, the operations room would also take complaints and reports from the public on GST matters. – TMI