The new Sales and Services Tax (SST) will come into effect on September 1 this year, after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) goes zero-rated on June 1.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the price of goods should go down by at least six per cent once the zero-rated GST system kicks in.

“We have made our promises in our manifesto, and we had expected to fulfill our promises in 100 days.

“The situation however is worse than we expected when we prepared the manifesto. The promises we made will be fulfilled but after taking into account the financial situation, and so that it won’t affect the country’s administration,” he told a press conference after chairing the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The prime minister, however, did not reveal the new SST rate.

Dr Mahathir said the government has also agreed to implement a price control scheme for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri period.

The government, he said, has also agreed to set up a National Agriculture Advisory Council.

The prime minister also announced that the Permata programme for gifted children, previously under the Prime Minister’s Department, would be placed under the purview of the Education Ministry.

He also announced that the government would set up Tabung Harapan Malaysia, which is geared towards providing an avenue for the public to donate to help the country’s financial situation.

The fund, he said, will be managed by the Finance Ministry.

“The government welcomes the people’s patriotism in launching an initiative to raise funds for the government.

“We will ensure that these contributions are channeled to the proper areas. All the donations will be directed to the Finance Ministry. The account numbers will be announced soon,” he said.-NST

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