The Malaysian government is reportedly mulling over whether it should implement a service charge of 0.02% for consumers who shop online. This tax would also envelop online retail stores and e-commerce sites, such as Lazada and Shopee.
According to Zahidi Zainul Abidin, the Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia, the money acquired from the service charge would be used by the government to further enhance the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure. Further, he says that the service charge would also allow the administration to set up better preventative measures against online scammers and cyber attacks.
However, Zahidi was also quick to point out that, at the time of writing, the current administration had yet to set a minimum spending amount before the consumer would be hit with the 0.02% surcharge. To be clear, the proposed charge is not the same as GST, which is only applicable to consumers who purchase physical goods and services.
Once again, the alleged online service charge is still being deliberated by the government and as such, there is also no indication when or if it will be approved.