KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysians consumers are experiencing a sudden increase in prices across the board particularly with the recent increase in pump fuel prices blamed on refinery issues.
The situation is becoming untenable, said many on the streets.
“In some cases, some restaurants would increase their prices while the dish size is reduced,”said one consumer who spoke to The Independent.
Experts say this is a sign of inflationary pressures and the cause of has many hidden reasons.
One of the reason is the implementation of the 6% goods and services tax (GST).
“That 6% may not seem much, but collectively it is quite a lot,” another consumer said.
He explained: “Lets say you spent RM 100 on groceries for the week and the GST for it would be RM 6, but due to computation, it can amount to much more spent by the public.”
In order to get a better picture of the situation, The Independent asked Professor Ramon Navaratnam, a Malaysian economist formerly Secretary-General of the Malaysian Ministry of Transport whether the recently implemented goods and services tax (GST) was to be accounted for in the current inflationary pressures felt by the public.
When asked how the GST was calculated, the former high-ranking finance ministry official said: “The impact of the GST could be more than 6% due to commutation and to price hiking.”
The other reason is due to the local currency which has been falling against the US dollar, said other analysts who spoke to the news portal.
While many are asking whether it is not odd to introduce a new tax system at a time when the currency plummeted, the authorities said the GST actually saved Malaysia from bankruptcy.
But at what cost did it save the country?
In general, analysts agree the GST has added to the burden of the consumers, with price hiking on the rise.