The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry has completed a comprehensive action plan on the implementation of the sales and service tax (SST) to be presented to the National Cost of Living Action Council.
Its minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the action council, which would meet for the first time at the end of this month, will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
"The action plan also includes enforcement and operating schedules being carried out and to be implemented relating to SST.
“We will present all the public feedback on the causes and costs of living cost through several ministries, especially the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, that are implementing the enforcement and monitoring of prices of goods,” he told reporters after flagging off the Consumer Awareness Convoy in conjunction with the 61st National Day in Butterworth today.
The convoy comprising NGOs involving 30 vehicles, including high powered motorcycles, will travel 42 km to Penang, and stop at several selected areas to disseminate information on the SST system to consumers.
Saifuddin, who is also Kulim-Bandar Bharu MP, said the information obtained would be reviewed and presented before a strategy framework is implemented to help ease the people’s burden.
He said the ministry’s enforcement team would also continue to monitor against price manipulation.
“The public can also channel information and complaints to any of the ministry's offices throughout the country if they find that traders are raising or manipulating the prices of goods and stern action will be imposed on them (traders)," he said.
He said his ministry, in collaboration with the Finance Ministry, would hold a nationwide tour to provide explanation on the SST and taxable goods.
Prices remain unchanged
Meanwhile, on the first day of reimplementation of SST, there has been no increase in the prices of goods, particularly with essential and basic food items.
It is still too early to see the effects of SST on the prices of goods, as the majority of traders are still using their existing stock obtained during the tax holiday (zero-rated GST) since June 1.
Undoubtedly, the consumers hoped the situation to last as SST should have minimal impact on their everyday life and they also urged the authorities to monitor the traders.
In Kedah, a check by Bernama at a popular nasi kandar restaurant in Jitra found there was no increase in prices of food and beverage.
One of the restaurant employees said if there was an increase in prices of food and beverage, they would notify the customers in advance.