Singaporeans taking advantage of Malaysian tax holiday too

PHOTO: The Straits Times

JOHOR BARU - Not only Malaysians are enjoying the three-month tax holiday but Singaporeans too are taking advantage of the zero-rating of the Goods and Services Tax to have their shopping sprees across the Straits of Johor.

With Hari Raya Haji being a public holiday in both Malaysia and Singapore yesterday, many Singapo­reans drove across the Causeway to shop here, not letting up the chance to capitalise on the tax holiday before it ends on Aug 31.

Among the shopping complexes here that are seeing a flurry of activity are Johor Baru City Square, Komtar JBCC, KSL City, Plaza Pelan­gi, AEON Bukit Indah and AEON Tebrau.

The Johor Premium Outlets (JPO) in Kulai is also drawing the crowds with its range of off-season brand­­ed apparel, shoes, handbags and wat­ches offered at discounted pri­ces.

Among the shoppers was businessman Teo Zhang Wei, 41, who said the weaker ringgit and the tax holiday had enticed many of his countrymen to shop here.

"Johor Baru is always the prefer­red destination for Singaporeans because the prices here are way lower than back home.

"Besides shopping, my wife and I also enjoy time here to unwind and go to the spa," he smiled.

Housewife Janice Teng, 52, said she went to places like JPO to do some early Christmas shopping.

"Christmas may be four months away but in tax-free Malaysia, it feels like Christmas has come early for me.

"I am buying Christmas presents to avoid last-minute shopping in Singapore when it could get expensive," she said.

Technician Abu Bakar Salim, 49, visiting relatives as they celebrated Hari Raya Aidiladha, also found time to buy things during this soon-to-end tax holiday.

"I shopped at the market and shopping complexes around here," he said.