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Malaysian Furniture Industry Protest ‘Unpaid Taxes’

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: The Malaysian furniture industry players are protesting the penalty imposed on them for “unpaid sales tax” by the Malaysian Customs Department.

According to Poh Leong Yah, Muar Furniture Association secretary-general, the industry were given sales tax exemption for 30 years.

“All this while, we were told by Customs that we need not apply for a CJ(sales tax license). We did not evade taxes,” said Poh at a press conference in Wisma MCA.

According to Poh, their businesses were audited by the Johor Customs Department after the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April of 2015. Five factory operators have been penalized since then and were asked to pay a total of RM1.2mil in unpaid taxes.

According to The Star, the unpaid taxes are backdated to more than two years prior to the GST implementation. Poh added that 10 more operators are since under investigation for the reason above.

“This is not fair because our industry was exempted from sales tax according to the Sales Tax (Exemption from Licensing) Order 1997,” said Poh.

A memorandum have been handed over to MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai by Poh. Transport Minister, Liow said that he would elevate the matter in the Cabinet.

Muar, Malaysia’s furniture hub, produces around 50 percent of the total furniture export of Malaysia and ranks as the eighth largest furniture exporter in the world.