GST in Malaysia: What's taxable and what's not?

Malaysia has introduced a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of six per cent.

GST replaces the Sales and Services Tax (SST) of up to 10 per cent. With GST, prices of goods and services could remain the same, go up or even decrease - in the case of goods and services that were previously subjected to the higher SST.

Here's a quick guide on what's taxed and what's not:

Goods and services that are not taxed:

- Livestock, fresh and frozen meat/fish:

* Livestock including cattle, buffalo, pig, sheep and goat; live chickens and ducks
* Fresh and frozen meat
* All kinds of live, fresh, chilled and frozen fish (except for fish for ornamental use)

- Other kinds of water creatures:

* These include crustaceans (lobsters, crabs, prawns, shrimps), molluscs (oysters, mussels, cuttlefish, snails) and others such as sea cucumbers and jellyfish

- Eggs (chicken and duck eggs, fresh or salted)

- Fresh vegetables and fruits

- Spices and herbs

- Rice, flour, noodles, bread

- Cooking oil and condiments including sugar, salt, cooking oil, shrimp sauce, fish sauce and soy sauce.

- Coffee, tea and cocoa powder

- Baby formula (aged 0 to 36 months)

- Items in the National Essential Medicines List

* This covers 4,215 medicine brands for the treatment of major chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disorder, diabetes, hypertension, infertility.

- All types of reading materials and newspapers

- Public transportation

- Treated water for domestic use

- Electrical supply for the first 300 units (kwh) of domestic use

- RON95 petrol and diesel

- Postal services

- Medical treatment at hospitals and clinics

GST-taxable goods and services that will cost more as they were previously untaxed:

- Processed food items (e.g pre-marinated meat, fish and vegetables, canned food, fishballs, meat balls, bottled contiments, chocolates, biscuits)

- Kitchenware

- Clothing and foot wear

- Beauty and health products

- Toys and games

- Electronic gadgets including cameras, computers, laptops and mobile phones

- Pre-paid phone cards

- Concert and movie tickets

- Banking fees (e.g. loan processing, fund transfers, standing instruction services, cheque books)

- Consultation with GST-registered independent doctors

GST-taxable goods and services that will cost less

This refers to the goods and services that were previously subjected to the higher 10 per cent SST. These range from electrical appliances (e.g. television sets, refrigerators, air-conditioners, home theatre system, irons, hair dryers, electric fans), cars, consumer items (eg. soft drinks, imported fruits) to items like diapers, sanitary pad, Dettol, toothpaste and furniture.

For more information, go to or

SOURCE:, The Star, The Malaysian Insider

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