Customs director-general T Subromaniam courted laughter during a sales and service tax (SST) briefing in Johor Bahru yesterday, after he struggled while demonstrating how his own department's SST hotline worked, according to China Press.
The Chinese daily reported that Subromaniam had personally called the hotline to prove to audiences that it worked everyday.
However, he was greeted by an automated voice that asked him to choose from several options as those present for the briefing watched in amusement.
Subromaniam took more than a minute to get through all the steps, and when he was finally done, he was put on hold.
The crowd promptly burst into laughter, and he finally hung up.
Later, Subromaniam stressed that the point was that the SST hotline was available daily, except on public holidays.
"They (hotline operators) are supposed to work until midnight, that's what I'm saying," he said.