No GST trial period, says Malaysian minister

KUALA LUMPUR - There will be no trial period for Goods and Services Tax, which will be enforced from April 1 next year, said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consume­rism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Ma­­lek.

He said the Government would step up efforts to educate the public on GST to help increase awareness and overcome any confusion that might arise.

"Advocacy on GST is ongoing and we will continue to do so at the ground level.

"We will intensify our efforts to increase awareness on GST right down to the kampung level," he told reporters here.

He was asked to comment on a suggestion by an economic expert that a trial period be introduced to gauge the effectiveness of GST and ensure it benefited consumers.

Hasan said the Government re­­cently met tax consultants and would continue to meet all stakeholders on the issue.

Commenting on the May Day rally against GST, he said some attended without really knowing what GST was about.

Hasan had earlier launched the Jom Bawa Bekal ke Sekolah (Let's Bring Food to School) campaign at SMK Seri Ampang here yesterday.

He said the campaign was to help students save pocket money and reduce costs.

"There is no need to be ashamed of bringing food from home. It not only saves costs but students can also enjoy healthy home-cooked meals," he said, adding that a study showed that only 27.9 per cent of primary school students brought food from home.

The campaign, he said, was voluntary and would be promoted every Wednesday.

Hasan also urged the public to exercise their rights as consumers and make price comparisons and informed decisions.

On Ops Harga, Hasan said 476,756 premises had been inspected as of Wednesday with 3,007 found to have flouted the law.