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Electricity (Below 600kwh) And Water Remain Exempt From SST Hike

Electricity (Below 600kwh) And Water Remain Exempt From SST Hike

The government’s decision to exempt essential services demonstrates a commitment to mitigating the impact on Malaysians’ cost of living.

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In a move lighting up conversations from the coffee shops to the corridors of power, Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Digital, Fahmi Fadzil, has flipped the script on the Sales and Services Tax (SST) narrative.

Amidst the swirling rumours and heated debates over the telecom sector’s SST exemption, Fahmi has stepped in with a clarification that’s as refreshing as a cold drink on a hot Kuala Lumpur afternoon.

Electricity consumption under 600 Kilowatt-hours (kWh) and water services, it turns out, have been living a tax-free life all along, untouched by the SST’s reach.

Estimated electric bill for 600 kWh of usage. (Pix: MyElectricityBill)

This revelation came packaged in a sleek, easy-to-digest poster shared by Fahmi on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

The infographic breaks down the upcoming SST increase set for March 1st, reassuring citizens that their essentials will remain unaffected.

Your food, drinks, parking, telecom services, and even late-night snack deliveries are safe from the taxman’s grasp.

The plot thickened last October when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim unveiled plans in the 2024 Budget to hike the SST from six to eight per cent.

But fear not, for the essentials of life in Malaysia—ranging from your morning teh tarik to your essential internet connectivity—remain untouched.

Feeling the Pinch: SST Increase Sparks Cost of Living Concerns

The backdrop to this story is a broader public concern over the SST hike.

This sentiment echoes past frustrations with taxation under previous administrations, notably the Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduced by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The GST, a broad-based consumption tax implemented in April 2015, was criticised for increasing the cost of living, leading to its repeal and replacement with the SST in September 2018.

Malaysians’ sensitivity to tax changes stems from their impact on everyday expenses.

Citizens are drawing parallels between the SST’s potential effects on their daily lives and the financial strain many experienced under the GST regime.

The comparison underscores a deep-seated apprehension towards policies perceived to elevate living costs, particularly in a post-pandemic economy where many are still finding their footing.

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