KUALA LUMPUR, March 21, 2015:
A petition set up to urge the government to remove goods and services Tax (GST) from all feminine sanitary products has been making its rounds on social media and so far has 3,022 signatures.
With hashtags #NoGSTforPeriods #NoTaxOnPeriods the petition that was started on March 19 by communications officer Kamelia Shamsuddin, aims to create enough buzz to reach as many people by the end of the month.
“Women should not be taxed for the purchase of sanitary products that aid in our biological need to menstruate. While the government may be fully justified to tax a host of services and products for the country’s profits, this should not extend to feminine sanitary products that we need on a monthly basis.
“We should not be penalised for simply being born a woman. GST on sanitary products infringes our basic rights to access sanitary aid,” read the petition.
It added that additional costs for sanitary products also should not be a laughing matter, as Bintulu Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing recently evoked in a recent parliamentary session which poked fun at women for questioning the motion to include feminine sanitary products in the list of GST items.
“We feel that this is derogatory towards women everywhere in the country. It is damaging to stand by a tax that restricts the public’s access to basic healthcare that constrains their ability to consume products that would otherwise assist in their monthly cycles.”
The Facebook group for the petition stated that it is not a political group nor have any affiliations with any political groups.
“We are just Malaysian women who agree that there should not be additional taxes towards women’s sanitary products.”
It was previously reported that Kamelia said she was considering bringing the petition to the Women, Family, and Community Development Ministry if sanitary products were still not excluded.
In a report by FMT, she was quoted saying it would be even harder for women to put aside money for savings as after the implementation of GST these sanitary products would cost more.
“A middle-range brand of 30 sanitary pads now cost RM16. When GST comes into force, it will cost more than that. This will restrict a woman’s ability to purchase products that are essential to assist them during their monthly cycles.
I cannot imagine how women living in the rural areas are going to cope with that (increased cost),” she said in the report.