Kopitiam Story

The recent booing of our Prime Minister at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) during his visit in conjunction with the Labour day celebration came immediately with his recollection of what how GST was supposed to be implemented.

Monitoring enforcement of the new tax concept has been lacklustre in Sarawak since its implementation on April 1 this year. It was made clear that retailers are to be responsible in displaying GST-included within 14 days of the implementation of the new tax concept. Yet, a month into this system, at a computer store, the retailer conveyed pre-GST prices on some of the products (screen). Whether it’s a #yolo-you-will-want-to-see-my-products-because-they-are-unbelievably-cheap! or the non-existence of monitoring body here in Sarawak?; your comment on that one.

I rummaged for opinions on this topic from a couple of close, localised friends. While I believe GST is a necessity, I feel the need to point out the level of transparency it could conjure into governance. This could be a double edge sword for a corrupted government.

Yet, as I accumulated the input from my inquiries, I found a common loophole in the form of retailers asking ‘tulis ka cetak?’; write or print?.

This gives the retailers 6% profit off the record. This gives ‘ass-kissing’ level of treatment to the consumers. Also, this gives the loophole for the government to ‘misplace the money’ along the road to budget 2016.

Your integrity, People! Get it checked!

GST; it’s a tool for transparency. Let’s make it our tool for integrity. Don’t be that person who booed the PM, talks more about it (GST) over coffee and kolomee at kopitiam, works 8-5 for the Government, and asks for written receipt because she wants to be treated like a princess when she buys the gold bracelet.

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