PETALING JAYA - The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is beneficial for Malaysia's economy in the long term, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"I understand that there is some concern around the introduction of the GST. However, for the long term good of the economy, it is important that we broaden our tax base," said Najib in a televised interview with TV3 on Thursday night.
He condemned unscrupulous businesses that tried to take advantage of the GST which was introduced on April 1 at a rate of 6 per cent.
"I have been made aware that some unscrupulous businesses, both big and small, are trying to take advantage of the introduction of GST to increase prices above the 6 per cent rate.
"This is completely unacceptable. I have instructed the relevant ministry to step up their enforcement efforts to ensure that any increases introduced by shopkeepers and business owners are in line with the 6 per cent GST rate, and that any abuses of this system which negatively harm the consumer are brought to a halt," said Najib.
It had been reported that businesses had been using the introduction of GST to justify increasing the prices of goods and services.