Bruneians unaffected by M’sia GST

National 3 minutes, 2 seconds


LOCALS are still heading to Malaysia despite the recent implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) in the neighbouring country as they are able to reclaim the tax payment before returning to the Sultanate.

The GST system –implemented on April 1 – is part of the Malaysian government’s tax reform programme to enhance the capability, effectiveness and transparency of tax administration and management. Six per cent of the original price of goods and services are added to the overall price.

The Manager of Pan Bright Travel Service, Michael Song, told _The Brunei Times _in an interview that people in Brunei aren’t that affected by the GST.

“Since the implementation, there are still Bruneians who go to Malaysia through our agency, therefore they aren’t affected by it,” he said.

According to Song, foreigners who travel to Malaysia are able to retrieve the paid tax when returning back to their home country.

“The GST payments of goods can be claimed, but goods from food are not returnable,” he said.

Obelina Chin Sheian, a Bruneian studying in Curtin University in Miri, Sarawak, said in an interview that she is unaffected by the GST tax because she spends a small amount when she travels between the two nations.

“I travel almost daily but the GST hasn’t made a difference for me because goods there are still cheaper than it is in Brunei,” said Obelina, who is a Belait resident.

“The six per cent isn’t a big difference, especially since I don’t spend a big amount of money while I am in Malaysia,” she said.

Obelina believes that the GST wouldn’t stop Bruneians travelling to Malaysia, especially residents residing in Kuala Belait.

“Kuala Belait is a very nice place, but there isn’t much to do, which is why a majority of us go over to Miri since it is quite close and since nothing has actually changed,” she said.

Hj Khairul Azwan Hj Othman, a local resident who visited Malaysia during the GST implementation said that he was slightly affected by it during his visit.

“Before I arrived in Malaysia, I wasn’t aware of the GST until I was briefed about it by the ground officers in the airport,” he said.

Throughout his three day visit in Malaysia, he questioned the Malaysian locals about the GST, in which he found out that he was able to retrieve the paid tax (by using the official GST receipt) at the airport before he returns to Brunei.

“When I found out about it, I was relieved because as a Bruneian, I wouldn’t want to be affected by the Malaysian taxes, but goods such as food and hotels were still non-claimable but that doesn’t bother me as much,” he said.

Khairul said that the new tax system will not stop him from visiting Malaysia again although he will be extra cautious on the GST.

“Bruneians who plan to travel to Malaysia should be aware and have knowledge about this, because if they don’t, they would not be able to refund their GST,” he said.

Another frequent visitor to Malaysia, Md Hamid Hj Mahdi, said that he was slightly affected by the implementation particularly on purchases that are non-refundable.

“For small purchases, I am not that affected, but for hotels and buying expensive dinners, the six per cent tax will be a lot bigger than they are for cheaper goods,” he said.

“At times, I would need to spend a lot more, which will be a struggle because we wouldn’t be able to get that tax money back,” Md Hamid added.

The Brunei Times