Long-term implications of the GST for Malaysia

The outlook for Malaysia's economy is upbeat ahead of the general election, but the introduction of the GST has made everyone a taxpayer, and raised expectations among voters on transparency and accountability.

A GST notice in a Shah Alam supermarket in Malaysia, announcing the new tax when it was introduced in April 2015. With its introduction, for the first time, all Malaysians are taxpayers and are a vital source of revenue for the state. The demands for
A GST notice in a Shah Alam supermarket in Malaysia, announcing the new tax when it was introduced in April 2015. With its introduction, for the first time, all Malaysians are taxpayers and are a vital source of revenue for the state. The demands for financial probity, transparency and accountability can only increase - regardless of who is in power, says the writer. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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Things are looking good for Malaysia's economy in the run-up to the general election.

The central bank's outlook for this year is 5.5 to 6 per cent growth. It expects inflation will be moderate at between 2 and 3 per cent, and unemployment at an enviable 3.4 per cent.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 22, 2018, with the headline Long-term implications of the GST for Malaysia. Subscribe