JOHOR BARU - Concerns over the rising cost of living and a lack of understanding on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) are the main reasons why many are protesting against its implementation next year, said Customs senior assistant director Azmi Shahid.
He said many people did not understand that they were already paying taxes under the Sales and Service Tax (SST) system.
"Very few realise that GST is a new tax structure which will be replacing SST, which has been implemented for many years now."
"It is not an additional tax meant to burden the people. It is merely a switch from SST to GST and people should take this into account," he told reporters after a briefing on GST here yesterday.
Azmi advised consumers not to panic over the implementation of GST but rather to look at the bigger picture and learn its structure before criticising it.
"The GST structure shows that the prices of goods will drop in time and not increase as assumed by many.
"This (drop in prices of goods), however, is subject to the enforcement of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry," he added.
Azmi said the ministry would play a major role in ensuring business entities would not take advantage of the profit margin through the GST system.
The Customs Department, he said, had been going all out to educate the public, including civil servants and business owners, about the GST structure through similar briefings.
"The department will continue holding briefings until GST is implemented in April next year," he said.