Budget 2014: GST, sugar
subsidy removal foremost on Malaysians'
PETALING JAYA: The abolition of sugar
subsidies and the impending implementation
of goods and services tax (GST) in April
2015 are the main concerns of the Malaysian
public following the Budget 2014
announcement by Prime Minster Datuk Seri
Najib Tun Razak on Friday.
The current price of sugar is RM2.50 per kg,
and will rise to RM2.84 on Saturday.
With many saying there were already
struggling with the high cost of living,
further tightening of their belts were
needed with the subsidy cut.
Insurance agent Jason Tan, 24, said
day-to-day survival was already a struggle -
especially those just starting their careers
- and he expected things to be more
"Shops are going to increase the price of
drinks by at least 10 sen per glass. Other
prices will go up as well and we will feel
the pinch," he said.
Lecturer Sudhashini Nair hoped that the
latest budget could help lessen the burden
of the lower- and middle-income group.
"The cost of living is so high now that we
cannot think of having more than one child.
It is just crazy," she said.
PhD student Nithiya Arumugam, who recently
returned from Japan, said the subsidy cut
was going to affect her the most.
"When I came back home after three years in
Japan, I was astonished by how much food
prices had increased. This is just going to
make things worse," she said.
However, she felt that the allocation to
improve the public transportation system was
a move in the right direction.
"Right now, the focus of public
transportation is in the city centre. I hope
to see it extended," she said.
Engineer S. Kulendran was sceptical about
the GST, as he felt the countries applying
it had high per capita income.
"They have reliable transportation systems
and affordable goods (relative) to its
income per capita. We do not have that," he
However, he did see some positives to the
"The outcome-based budgeting (OBB) which
will be implemented seems promising,
especially for healthcare," he opined.
Aircraft engineer Nazir Maslan said the
effect of GST implementation had yet to be
"The Government has been saying that it will
bring a positive impact, I'm eager to see
what it would be," he said.
Nazir also commented that the 6% rate was a
reasonable amount, and the tax rate in
Malaysia remained one of the lowest.
"In countries like UK, they pay more tax but
they also get back more. For example, the
public transportation there is so good that
it is a hassle to own cars.
"We need to get there but I only seeing it
happening in the next 10 years," he said.
Source: The Star, Friday 25 October 2013