Friday, December 10, 2010
Sabahans will pay much more when GST kicks in (revisited)
Since prices of several goods in Sabah were already higher by about 20% compared to the peninsula, consumers here would have to pay more for the GST.
Consumers in smaller towns might have to pay even more due to transportation costs from Kota Kinabalu.
In this regard, he said the government should defer the implementation of the GST until such time prices between the peninsula and Sabah could be standardised.
Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal however disagreed, saying the GST would be in the region of 4%, thus it was far lower than the existing Sales and Service Tax that was between five and 10%.
In addition, GST would not be imposed on basic food items to ensure the poor would not be burdened by it.
The higher prices in Sabah has partly been attributed to the transportation costs of goods from the peninsula where they are either manufactured or imported from another country before being shipped to the state.
The price disparity has been a thorny issue with various leaders pledging to streamline prices between the various regions since the 1990s.