KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia has no plans to reintroduce a goods and services tax (GST) or any other broad-based consumption tax, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said on Tuesday (Feb 14).
The government will instead look to reduce subsidies enjoyed by the wealthy, Anwar, who is also finance minister, told parliament.
Anwar, who took office in November, has ordered a review of Malaysia’s subsidy programme, prioritising aid for low-income groups, amid high government debt levels and rising living costs.
Malaysia offers subsidies to all citizens, with transport fuel and cooking oil accounting for the biggest expense. It also subsidises electricity, sugar and flour.
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Government debt and liabilities currently stood at 1.5 trillion ringgit (S$457 billion), or about 82 per cent of GDP, Anwar said.
“We need to find ways to increase revenue and conduct a public expenditure review without burdening the people,” he said.
Anwar is expected to present a revised government budget on Feb 24.