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Malaysian PM’s wife laments rising costs

KUALA LUMPUR — The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will curb errant hairdressers and tailors from overpricing their wares, said the wife of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak today (Feb 23), lamenting that she had to fork out RM1,200 (S$448.50) each time she had to dye her hair at home.

Madam Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak. Photo: The Malaysian Insider

Madam Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak. Photo: The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR — The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will curb errant hairdressers and tailors from overpricing their wares, said the wife of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak today (Feb 23), lamenting that she had to fork out RM1,200 (S$448.50) each time she had to dye her hair at home.

“It is really hard to make tailored clothes these days. Their prices come up to RM500, and I am speaking as a representative of a housewife that buys made-to-order clothes.

“We have to make beautiful clothes to attend functions, but the prices are way too high. For those who can afford, it’s alright.

“But what about housewives like us, with no income?” Madam Rosmah Mansor said during a briefing on the GST with other wives of ministers and deputy ministers (Bakti) in Petaling Jaya today.

Mdm Rosmah complained that the charges for hairdressers, tailors and make-up artists who make house calls were “really high” and “did not make sense”.

She said that housewives like herself, who had no choice but to use their services, often became victims and were burdened with exorbitant prices.

“Housewives, especially, often become the victims to such traders because there is no price control and guidelines by the government on house call services,” she said.

Despite the stumbling oil prices, Mdm Rosmah said that these errant business people have refused to lower the prices for their services.

“Do we (housewives) have to keep asking our husbands then? For those who have husbands who don’t mind giving (money), it’s fine. But sometimes, there are husbands who say ‘hey, I gave you last week and you want more?’

“So I feel that we (the government) should monitor these things as they (traders) will make exorbitant profits,” Mdm Rosmah added.

She also said that traders who provided services at clients’ homes were usually those who worked independently and who are not likely to register for the GST.

“Tailors and hairdressers will not register but we don’t want them to increase the charge for their services.”

The prime minister’s wife claimed that she did not want to make a big deal or “too much noise” over this issue as some might say that even her husband is quiet about the issue but noted that this was “reality”.

“When the prices of these services increase by RM200 we feel the pinch and if we complain, I am just afraid that they wouldn’t want to make our clothes. And it is hard for us as wives of civil servants,” she said.

Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan, who gave the briefing on the GST, said that many were still confused with the implementation of the consumption tax, thinking that it would cause prices of goods to increase.

“That is not right. People think that when the GST is implemented, the prices of goods, such as furniture, electrical items and clothes will go up but in fact, it would decrease.

“This is because the current sales and services tax is 16 per cent but GST is only 6 per cent, which would mean the prices of goods will fall,” he said.

Speaking to reporters later, the deputy minister said that Bakti’s call for control in services tax for house calls was a good suggestion and will be considered.

“It is a good suggestion and I believe the relevant ministry, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry will look into this,” he added. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

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