GST – government says ‘thanks’ to patriotic Malaysians

GST – government says 
‘thanks’ to patriotic Malaysians
 by Edmund Lee

GST WATCH: Some of the more creative minds among us have coined 'GST' as Government Says Thanks!
I believe this appears to be most appropriate after what all that had transpired over the past three weeks since the GST was introduced in Malaysia on April 1.
I am also amazed by the efficiency of our Umno-led BN government in implementing the GST while other more pressing issues like crime, urban poverty and rising costs of living are allegedly approached in a rather indifferent manner.
But they are the government. They know what's right for us even though there's hardly anything left for us to know. They decide what's best for the country notwithstanding that the best is anybody's guess. 
They need funds for development in the name of modernisation and progress to enable us to compete with the world's best and join the ranks of the elite nations in a special club known as 'The First World Countries' where membership is by qualification and status. 
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Being 'Malaysia Boleh', there is great belief that we can achieve it – in our own unique ways.
For example, making the steering wheel of the Proton Saga on par with BMW or Mercedes and impressing on us that Proton can be an international brand despite selling its cars at world class prices – 'out of this world', to be more precise. 
Then we have our Minister of Higher Education trying his academic best to sway us into believing that our universities may soon be like Oxford or 'Oxford-like'  based on his own conclusions and yardstick. 
I believe he is fully aware that none of our universities have been ranked any higher than the top 100 universities in the world. It's good to have dreams but daydreaming is something that some of our leaders in government have grown accustomed to.
But none of the above 'projects' can beat the GST in branding and marketing under the government's dire need to collect more revenue.
Sun Tzu was renowned for his 'Art of War' strategies. Stephen Covey became famous for his '7 habits of highly effective people' while Robert Kiyosaki raked in millions for authoring 'Rich Dad Poor Dad'. 
I believe many Malaysians, after reeling from the effects of the GST must be scratching their heads and screaming – “Who Stole My Cheese?” 
Our GST was packaged as a 'national service' product – that paying taxes is the duty of every loyal and patriotic Malaysian. The country needs you, so to speak.
Since most Malaysians are familiar with C4, it is not farfetched to associate GST with the '4 Cs'.
From an explosive economic 'think-tank' right into our faces and burning holes in our thin pockets. 
What are these '4Cs'? 
First, 'CONVINCE' the rakyat that paying GST is necessary for a variety of reasons, however dubious – ensuring the government coffers have sufficient revenue to develop the country and giving back to the people in cash or in kind despite the GST being unkind to fixed income earners who comprise the bulk of the working population. 
Obviously, the daily media-blasts over radio and televison have managed to convince the less internet-savvy Malaysians into believing that whatever the government says is the gospel truth despite misinformation from the Minister of Communication and Multimedia. 
Second, weapon of mass distraction – 'CONFUSE' those who cannot be convinced by the merits of the GST. This is a relatively easy job and all it takes is for different ministers to issue different statements to different people at different times using vague-meaning words like 'zero-rated', 'intermediaries' and 'tax exempt' on an exhaustingly long list of goods where mee and noodles can be as alien as prawns and lobsters.
Being the government, convincing the people to accept the GST should not be a problem but confusing them creates more problems. 
The social media is abuzz with public feedback on alleged profiteering by unscrupulous business outlets using the GST as a pretext to increase prices.
There is also the issue of service charge being levied despite the government's assurance that this is optional – we can choose not to pay if the service were not up to our expectations. Unfortunately, we do not get to decide this as we have been used to paying service charge even for poor service. 
There are also business outlets which are still rehearsing their act of collecting the GST – despite their system being not GST – compliant, they have been manually-compliant in collecting the tax. 
Printers choose a wrong time to run out of ink and unethical businessmen have resorted to scribble their company's GST ID manually on their receipts, employing staffs with bad handwriting to ensure that proper identification becomes a challenging, if almost an impossible endeavour.
Of course, we also have the creative businessmen who automatically include the GST on every possible receipt they issue with these very authoritative remark – 'plus GST 6% '. 
Third, within all these malpractices, it is not wrong to say that the poor consumers have been ‘CONNED’ under the system of 'pay first and complain later'. 
Conned sounds rather harsh but short-changed doesn't start with the letter 'C'. 
And fourth, of course, the government has the final say on what's right and what's left. ‘CONVICTION’ for those who abuse the system with heavy penalties to go with it. 
On a brighter note, the GST has created employment opportunities for those in enforcement. 
But there's a catch – the grace period where ignorance of the GST may be a bliss for these unscrupulous businessmen who capitalise and prey on unsuspecting consumers until the enforcers appear on their doorsteps with their days numbered. 
The Goods and Services Tax aka GST is collected by every conceivable means – convincing, confusing, conning and conviction.
Who's being convinced, who's still confused, who's actually conned and who's to be convicted – only time will tell. 
Lest we forget, the GST was implemented on April 1 2015. 
You and I know what that date represented. 
But we may not really know why. 
Until then, we have to say “GST is here to stay.”
Yes, thank you for helping Najib and his gang pay for 1MDB debts, payments for Umno divisional leaders their RM50,000 - 100,000+ per month, for SRC so-called losses, for Najib's govt excessive spending, for Najib wife lavish lifestyle and use of govt. jet, etc....
Yes,  GST - Govt. says Thank you - you SUCKERS!!


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