KUALA LUMPUR: Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek has rapped a news portal for allegedly twisting his statement on the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Referring to The Malaysian Insider, Ahmad Shabery said he never stated that the action of a hypermarket chain in absorbing GST as contravening the law.
"Saya xpernah ckp Serap GST melanggar undang2, #TheMalaysianInsiderSpin kenyataan saya, xhabis2 buat fitnah TMI ni, (I have never said that absorbing GST contravenes the law, #TheMalaysianInsiderSpins my statement, no ending to lying, this TMI)," he said in a tweet yesterday.
On Saturday, the portal carried a report quoting Ahmad Shabery saying the decision by hypermarket chain Mydin to absorb GST for the first three months could be in violation of the law.
In Arau, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong said 20 traders nationwide had been slapped with punitive action for GST violations so far.
"I understand 13 companies were found to be collecting GST even though they were not registered to do so.
"Some receipts issued by these companies said GST was charged, and they had been advised by the Customs to cease this practise, but some appeared reluctant to change," said Chua, who added that six companies were also found to be reluctant to issue tax invoices to customers or clients, despite repeated requests.
Other discrepancies, noted Chua, were instances where the GST registration number was not on the receipt, despite the customer being charged with GST by the business.
Speaking at a function to hand over allocation to six Chinese schools given under Budget 2014's Special Stimulus Package Allocation at SJKC Hwa Aik, with the cheques given out by MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, Chua said these 20 traders faced action as they violated clear-cut regulations, with their infringements going way beyond mere technicalities.
Chua added traders who made genuine mistakes need not fear as the Customs department is committed to helping them iron out technical issues over a "grace period" lasting up to two years.
"If there are mistakes in the filing or if traders are facing problems in differentiating between standard-rated versus zero-rated items, Customs is ready to help them."
In Rompin, Pahang, MCA syariah law and policy implementation special task force chairman Gan Ping Sieu said the hiccups in the implementation of GST were minor compared to its benefits to fair competition.
He said the tax system would eliminate taxes lost to the underground economy.
"With GST, the deeds of some unscrupulous businessmen who underdeclare their goods and collude with middlemen and Customs officials to evade tax will surface.
"This is a good thing as it will ensure fair competition for law-abiding businessmen," he said during his visit to the MCA operations room in Kuala Rompin here yesterday.