Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong criticized political leaders who accused the Perikatan Nasional government of benefiting from 10 million masks donated by China by selling them at a ceiling price through Pharmaniaga.
Wee said the act of defamation in the face of difficult times was not acceptable.
This is because he said Putrajaya bought masks from factories in China because local factories could not produce them.
“For the record, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has banned the export of masks a few days after assuming the post of the minister and the decision has been published.
“The capacity of a domestic mask manufacturer is not capable of producing (enough) masks. This is why Malaysia is importing and the country with the most supply in China even though world mask prices have skyrocketed after the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak, ” he was quoted as saying.
Yesterday, Senior Minister Fadillah Yusof said Putrajaya would get 10 million pieces of Chinese supplies to cover Malaysia’s shortage of masks to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak.
Fadillah said the mask would be preferred to stakeholders at the forefront of handling Covid-19, used by the Ministry of Health, authorities, police, the Malaysian Armed Forces and the Immigration Department at the national and state levels.
Wee said he personally recommended a 20% import duty and 10% sales tax on the mask be abolished at the National Security Council meeting with the chief minister and the chief minister on March 20.
In fact, he said, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had agreed with the proposal and had asked the Ministry of Transport to control the importation of masks from China by cargo flight.
According to him, the Ministry of Finance has also directed the Customs Department to announce the imposition of import duty and sales tax on masks effective from tomorrow, March 23, 2020.
“Starting tomorrow, anyone importing masks to Malaysia will no longer be subject to import duty and sales tax. This means that the tax component no longer exists in the nationwide sale of masks.
“The reality now is that global demand for masks has increased dramatically, especially from European and US countries that are ready to buy at premium prices,” he said.
Wee said he hoped that the elimination of import duties and sales tax would reduce the financial burden on everyone, especially the people.
He said he had already contacted several philanthropic and charitable organizations expressing his deep gratitude for the government’s decision.
“In fact, they have ordered masks from China to distribute to the needy. This is the spirit and tendency of Malaysians regardless of race and religion, ”he said.
23rd March 2020 18:32
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