Even B40 can afford gold

Gold is a luxury item, Deputy Finance Minister Lim Hui Ying believed.

She however changed her view after attending an event held by the Penang Goldsmith Association.

Now she realized that gold isn’t a luxury item since even people in the B40 bracket are able to regularly buy gold.

“If necessary Ministry of Finance will have a talk with the Penang Goldsmith & Jewellers Association, so the government can understand the reality of the industry,” said Lim.

She said this at the 14th inauguration ceremony for the new board of directors of the Penang Goldsmith & Jewellers Association on 14 April, in response to the president of Federation of Goldsmiths and Jewellers Association of Malaysia (FGJAM) Dato Chiah Hock Yew and chairman of Penang Goldsmith & Jewellers Association Ivan Chee Yook Chiang for gold not to be listed as luxury item.

She stated that the government has decided to postpone the implementation of the high-value goods tax policy.

She later added that they will seek input and feedback from industry stakeholders through various consultation meetings to ensure that economic, commercial, and cost of living factors are considered before finalizing the policy.

“I emphasize once again that the Madani government will gradually expand the tax base to collect high-value goods tax, to avoid burdening low-income groups.

“We hope that through tax reforms, we can generate more revenue for the country to enhance national development and assist the people,” she said, reported Nanyang Daily.

“The continuous rise in international gold prices shows that our country is facing global economic pressure.

“Currently, many representatives from shipping associations have pointed out that tensions in the Middle East may disrupt the supply chain and increase shipping insurance premiums.

“To avoid risks, many shipping companies are taking longer routes, which will make shipping costs higher,” she said, claiming that as a result of this chain reaction, inflation rates will keep rising in many countries.

“Madani government takes this very seriously and is implementing many policies and fiscal measures to stabilize the situation.

“This has kept our country’s inflation rate (1.5%) lower compared to others.

“The government will continue to monitor and control domestic inflation rates to prevent it from significantly affecting people’s lives,” she said.

At the event, Chiah expressed his opinion on investing in gold.

“This type of investment is highly favoured by B40 and M40 households, and its value is fundamentally different from that of luxury goods.

“Therefore, the government should not include gold in the high-value goods tax,” said Chiah.

He said that even though the government has announced the delay in imposing high-value goods tax, he hopes that those in the industry can provide feedback to the association and continue to negotiate with government departments.

“I hope they will consider the opinions of those involved in the industry and set the taxation threshold for gold at 50,000 Malaysian Ringgit or higher, only then imposing a 5% tax rate,” he said.

Ivan Chee echoed Chiah’s opinion.

He claimed that B40 and M40 view gold jewellery as necessities, often being treated as items for savings or emergency purposes and generally passed down to the next generation and the next.

“I believe gold jewellery is not suitable to be classified as a luxury item, despite being expensive and subjected to high-value goods tax.

“When people sell gold jewellery for emergency cash, they often lose the value that would be taxed.

“Therefore, I urge the Deputy Finance Minister to convey the desire of those involved in the industry to the Ministry of Finance and exempt or reduce the impact of the high-value goods tax,” Ivan said.

He said that the gold jewellery industry is facing unprecedented challenges, such as skyrocketing gold prices, economic slowdown, and the high-value goods tax.

He explained that these difficulties have made it tough for the gold jewellery industry, but fortunately, the postponement of the high-value goods tax has brought a glimmer of hope to industry players, allowing them to take a temporary breather.

“Furthermore, I hope the government can provide clearer information and guidance on the implementation of electronic invoicing so that businesses can be fully informed and equipped to adapt smoothly to the changes.

“I urge the government to provide more detailed information and ensure that businesses have enough time to prepare for and comply with the relevant regulations,” he said.

FGJAM assistant secretary Wu Jun Win, meanwhile handed over a donation of RM10,000 to the SRJK(C) Keng Koon to build a committee. The money was received by the school Committee member Wu Jin You (name transliterate) and the school member of the Parents teachers Association Chen Zhao Qin (name transliterate), and RM5,000 to the SJKC Shang Wu board of directors chairman Datuk Lee Wing Kong.

The event was attended by Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, Advisor of the Penang Gold Diamond & Jewellery Merchants Association Datuk Lo Siew Cheong, member of the Penang State Legislative Assembly for Komtar Teh Lai Heng, and Penang State Legislative Assembly for Bagan Jermal Chee Yeeh Keen.