No GST on potatoes after Customs Department cancels order

The Malaysian government considered implementing taxes on another 60 food items

By Verinia Khoo | Published: 19 Jun 2017

No GST on potatoes
Photo: watermarkny/Instagram

[Updated 19 June 2017] It looks like the government has decided not to impose the GST on potatoes (and the other food items originally listed) after all. Customs Department director-general Datuk Subromaniam said in a statement, "The Customs Dept has referred this matter to the Finance Ministry for feedback and made the decision that this Order should be cancelled."

Oh goodie, we don't have to love yam after all!


In case you don't already feel broke enough, the Malaysian government is about to impose the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on at least another 60 food items starting 1 July 2017, China Press reported on Sunday.

One of the newly listed food items – the key ingredient of our fast food lives – is potatoes. Prepare to say goodbye to reasonably priced French fries, people. French fries are actually already being taxed with the 6% standard rate, but we won't be surprised if prices increase. So potate now, rather than later. Look up synonyms for potato. Better start loving yam.

Customs Department director-general Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy said a full statement about the updated list of taxable items would be issued later today.

"It's only a few items not consumed by the masses," he said.

Right. He clearly hasn't been to McDonald's at 4am to see how many people are consuming hashbrowns and French fries.

Other food items on the new list include long beans, peas, spinach, sweet corn, bihun (rice vermicelli), kuey teow, laksa mee, coconut oil, eel, swordfish, and imported fruits like avocados, figs, grapes, nectarines, cherries and berries.

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