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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2016:

Consumers are unwise to blame him when the prices of goods failed to drop after the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), said Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

Ahmad said prices for certain goods should have gone down after the abolition of the 10% Sales and Service Tax (SST) in place of the 6% GST.

He added that goods imposed the previous SST, and later exempted from the GST, should have experience a downtrend.

“For example, all imported fruits were previously charged a tax of 5%. With the GST, no tax was imposed on fruits.

“When I said that GST can reduce the prices of goods, that was the example.

“During the time, the price of imported fruits should have gone down just as car manufacturers announced a decrease in prices on April 1 when GST was started, because SST for cars was voided, replaced with the 6% GST.

“However, when it came to clothing, tables, chair, furniture and electrical items, they did not go down.

“Don’t be mad at Ahmad Maslan.

“Be angry at the traders who did not bring down their prices,” he said during a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) talk held today.

Ahmad was responding to questions asked by participants on enforcement of the TPPA and the similarity of the situation when the GST was implemented. They feared prices would again be increased.

Ahmad Maslan was the target of a tremendous number of criticisms when prices of goods failed to go down as he had previously proclaimed.

He claimed that he personally never said prices of goods would definitely go down due to the implementation of the GST, but rather stressed that prices could fall.

“I said that GST could reduce the prices of goods. I didn’t say that GST would decrease prices.

“But there are a number of unethical traders out there.”

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