Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng warns telcos to drop 6% SST for prepaid cards

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has warned telcos to stop charging consumers 6% sales and service tax (SST) to consumers for prepaid cards. According to multiple media reports, the government wants to ensure that consumers are getting the full RM10 amount when they top up their prepaid cards.

He was quoted the New Straits Times saying that a directive has been issued to telcos and they are expected to comply with it. Media reports also quote Lim saying the government will interfere if the directive is disobeyed.

Only one-third of goods are subjected to SST and among the list of service providers impacted include night clubs, betting and gaming providers, airline operators and IT service providers. Those with revenue exceeding RM1.5 million must pay SST.

Meanwhile, he also criticised former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pictured) who complained about being charged SST of RM3.80 for steamed buns.

Najib had taken to Twitter to complain about being charged SST at Pau Yik Mun restaurant, which he claimed was a "mid-sized" store. The goods and services tax was replaced with the SST on 1 September, after the parliament passed the Sales Tax Bill 2018 and Service Tax Bill 2018. The SST comprises 10% for sales tax and 6% for services.

According to Bernama, Lim said he was "astonished" that Najib did not grumble about the GST when it was implemented previously, neither did he listen to the complaints of Malaysians. He added that the 6% GST imposed previously was "far worse", and that the government is "being quite flexible compared to before".