UPDATE: After a public outcry, the Customs Department, in tandem with the Finance Ministry, has cancelled the order that would have seen over 60 items liable to be taxed. Malaysians rejoice: we live to fight another day, and eat another GST-free ear of sweet corn.
Hold onto your hat brim millennials, the government has just introduced sixty new food items to the GST food list, and our beloved avocado is one of them. Gasp! How will we ever be able to afford a house now?
The 6% added cost will be added to items on 1 July, and China Press reports that certain seafood, vegetables, fruits, tea, coffee, spices and noodles are on the list too. Basically, everything that is good and nutritious in the world will now be 6% more expensive to Malaysians.
The government will have you think that “it’s only a few items not consumed by the masses,” as was quoted by Customs Department director-general Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy.
Sure, this means eel, swordfish and imported fruits like avocados, figs, grapes, nectarines, cherries and berries. However, it also includes vegetables like potatoes, long beans, peas, spinach and sweet corn.
When the government starts aligning the humble long bean with avocado toast, it’s time to start worrying.
Even more so when you find out bihun, kuey teow, laksa mee and coconut oil, were added to the GST list.
Yes. When the beloved kuey teow, a delicious noodle dish for every man, woman, child and street cat, gets thrown into the mix with bloody nectarines, the end is nigh.
Economists, please enlighten us: Just how broke are we when you start asking laksa for a cut in their sales?