GEORGE TOWN: The enduring Chinese comic characters Old Master Q and Big Potato have been roped in to shed light on the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
In one of the strips, Old Master Q (Lao Fu Zi) is shown paying the nett GST amount to a Customs guy and then leaping for joy as he is free of debts.
Chief executive officer Wong Kim Chun of Lao Fu Zi Media (M) Sdn Bhd, which is the comic's licensee company, said presenting it in a humorous form would make it easier for people to digest information.
"Some people may face difficulties understanding books on the GST. We want to develop something that could deliver the information effectively based on our company motto of 'fun to read, easy to understand'.
"Our intention is to develop a comic that people can enjoy, keep and share with others," Kim Chun said in an interview.
The company is the licensed agent for Lao Fu Zi merchandise, branding, event management, animation, publication and academic centre for Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
(Old Master Q is a cartoon series that began in 1962 by Alfonso Wong, who was born in Tianjin and later moved to Hong Kong.)
Kim Chun said a Chinese version of the Old Master Q on the GST was published in January.
"The English version is scheduled to be published in mid-April," he said.
"Both versions were looked over by tax consultant L.L. Koong who is a member of the Finance Ministry's GST Implementation Working Committee.
"The comic is a joint effort between our company, Koong and Prof Joseph Wong Chak, who is the eldest son of Alfonso Wong."
Kim Chun said the first volume of the Old Master Q GST comic was about the fundamentals of the GST.
"It helps readers to know how to register, the simple rules of the GST, besides explaining the input and output taxes," he said.
The GST comic, he said, was the company's fourth comic project for public awareness purposes.
"The character has also been used to educate the public about money management, diabetes and corruption over the years," he added.
The 112-page GST comic (Chinese version) costs RM30 (S$11.20).