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GST delayed

March 14, 2010

Gov’t delays debate on GST bill
Mar 13, 10 3:42pm
The government has apparently sought to buy more time by putting off the tabling of the controversial for Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill for second reading when Parliament resumes its sitting on Monday.

Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said government needed more time to gather feedback from the rakyat.

“It (GST) will not be tabled for second reading in the March/April session (of Parliament) because we need more time to engage with the public.

“We want the public’s opinion on GST,” Husni told reporters after opening the Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce (KLMCC)’s annual general meeting today.

The bill was first tabled in Parliament last December.

On when it would be tabled, Husni said: “It will depend on our engagement with the public and how the rakyat perceives the implementation of GST. So, we do not want to put a timeframe on that.”

Proposed to be enforced in the third-quarter of next year, the GST is aimed at widening the tax base and reducing the country’s deficit.

Malaysia’s budget deficit hit a more than 20 year high of 7.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2009, according to government data.

However, the opposition has mounted a nationwide roadshow over the past few weeks, arguing that the new tax will punish the poor.

RM15 mil hotel in Chinatown

Meanwhile, KLMCC’s president Syed Amin Aljeffri said the chamber had signed a memorandum of understanding with ACL Resources Bhd to develop a 12-storey hotel in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur.

“We are in the process of getting approval from the authorities and would shortlist contractors before the year-end. We hope to start the ground breaking early next year,” he explained.

The RM15 million hotel will be developed on a build, operate and transfer basis by ACL Resources, which will also operate the hotel for 60 years.

As the land belonged to KLMCC, it will receive long-term sustainable income in the form of fixed annual revenue from ACL Resources.

– Bernama

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