After the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST), Malaysians everywhere are expecting more affordable prices. While the prices of some items have evidently gone down, it appears that the opposite is happening for other goods.
According to FMT, the prices of 115 out of 417 items have increased by between 0.09% and 41.65%, after the implementation of SST.
Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen brought up these statistics at the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday, October 17, when he was asked to explain the high prices of items despite switching to SST.
Apart from that, he mentioned that however, nearly 70% (291) of items saw a decrease in prices by 0.11% to 37.61%, while 11 other items did not experience a change in prices between May and September 2018.
Chong said this information was obtained from a price survey that was done on 417 household items categorized as fresh produce (136), dry goods (25), packaged, tinned, and bottled items (159), drinks (25), baby products (49), and hygiene products (23).
The deputy minister added,
“The ministry predicts the prices of these items will show a more significant change when stocks from September are on the market. We will continue to monitor the changes in prices of consumer goods to ensure that these prices remain affordable.”
The Star reported that tensions soon rose when Chong told the House that 146 notices were issued to traders suspect of making unfair profits, with about 100 of them reportedly violating regulations.
Datuk Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) then called for another price survey to be carried out since the present survey Chong cited was done during the three-month tax holiday after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was zero-rated and SST was not yet implemented.
He added that the survey was also based on manufacturers’ previous supply of items. This sparked a brief shouting match between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan MPs.
In response to Ahmad Maslan’s statement, Chong said that he already clarified how it was too early to properly examine the effect of SST on prices just yet.
Have you noticed any increase or decrease in prices of goods since the SST was implemented? What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
(Source: WOB / Free Malaysia Today)