• OK.Mohammad Fajar Ikhsan Asian Institute of International Affairs & Diplomacy – AIIAD, Universiti Utara Malaysia
  • Norsyuhada Azwin Aziz Malaysia Building Society Berhad, Malaysia
  • Emil Mahyudin Department of International Relations, Universitas Padjajaran (UNPAD), Indonesia



GST, Tax policy, Marxism, Malaysia, Singapore, Wealth


Goods and Services Tax or GST is one of the most controversial taxes, causing dissatisfaction among the people. The distribution of justice and the implementation and effectiveness of GST policies tend to be the most frequently debated issues. The objective of this study is to examine the implementation, impacts, effectiveness, and challenges of GST policy in Southeast Asian countries, particularly Malaysia and Singapore. By employing a critical analysis perspective such as from Marxism’s lens of view, it is expected that this article will provide a new perspective in analysing GST policy implementation in the region. A descriptive qualitative analysis approach was used in this study, emphasising the content analysis method and the data obtained from official sources and literature studies. The study found that GST contributed to Singapore and Malaysia’s economy and revenue. Nevertheless, the GST impact affected the citizens of Singapore and Malaysia, especially the lower-income earners. The study argued that there is a dilemma in the GST tax policy implementation. It can be assumed through the findings that the GST policy did not meet the conscience of the Marxist perspective as it is regressive. Thus, in several parts of GST implementation, it has both advantages to the country’s production and productivity. On the other hand, it disadvantages society, particularly the lower- and middle-class groups. 


Bakar, A. S. A. (2018). Impak Cukai Barangan dan Perkhidmatan (GST) ke atas Indeks Harga Pengguna (IHP): Analisis Intervansi. Paper presented at the 5th Annual ECoFI Symposium 2018, EDC Hotels & Resorts, Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia.

Mardhiah, A. (2018). Merapatkan jurang perbezaan antara kaya dan miskin merupakan tujuan utama pemberian BR1M- Najib. Sarawak Voice.

Amadeo, K. (2020). Fiscal Policy Types, Objectives, and Tools. The balance. Retrieved from

Rasid, A. H. (2018). GST had minimal impact on inflation: economists. New Straits Times. Retrieved from

An overview of GST Malaysia. (2020). Retrieved from

Hassan, A. A. G., Saari. M. Y., Utit, C., Hassan, A. & Harun, M. (2016). Estimating the Impact of GST Implementation on Cost of Production and Cost of Living in Malaysia. Jurnal Ekonomi Malaysia, 50(2): 15-30. Retrieved from

Bernama. (2017). GST bantu tingkatkan ekonomi negara. Astro Awani. Retrieved from a-158812

Bernama. (2018). GST jimat bilion ringgit ketirisan SST. MyMetro. Retrieved from

Chen, J. (2020). Inflation. Retrieved from Department of statistics Malaysia, official portal. (2019, July 15). Current Population Estimates, Malaysia, 2018-2019.

Dezan Shira & Associates, (2016). An Introduction to Malaysian GST. Clarke, M (Ed.), ASEAN Briefing. Retrieved from

Dezan Shira & Associates, (2018). Malaysia to Re-Introduce Sales and Services Tax from September 1. Retrieved from

Gomez, J. (2015). Too many exemptions led to Malaysia's GST confusion, say tax experts. The Edge Markets. Retrieved from

Keat, H. S. (2019). The Business Times. Retrieved from decide-on-exact-timing-of-gst-increase-to-9-heng-swee-keat

Goh, M. P., & Aminuddin, A. S. (2015). Taxing times ahead? Retrieved from

Government of Singapore. (2019). Budget 2020 Revenue and Expenditure. Retrieved from

Guide Me Singapore (2020). Singapore tax system and tax rates. Retrieved from roduction-to-taxation/singapore-tax-system-and-tax-rates

Hillier, B. (2015). Why the GST is unfair (and why the working class should pay no tax). Redflag. Retrieved from

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, (2020a). Historical GST Rates. Retrieved from basics/How-to-implement-GST/Current-GST-Rates/

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, (2020b). Goods and Services Tax (GST): What It Is and How It Works. Retrieved from he-basics/Goods-and-Services-Tax--GST---What-It-Is-and-How-It-Works/

Candela, L. (2019). Introduction to Fiscal Policy. Retrieved from fiscal-policy/

Ireland, D. (2019). What Marxist tax policies actually look like? Historical materialism, 27(2): 188–221.

Iwamoto, K. (2018). Opposition and activists up in arms over Singapore's plan to hike GST. Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved from ore-s-plan-to-hike-GST

Jenkins, G. P., & Rup Khadka. (1998). Value added tax policy and implementation in Singapore. International VAT Monitor, 9(2): 35 -47.

Kadir, J. M. A. (2017). Impact of Goods and Services Tax on the Malaysian economy. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Malaya, Malaysia). Retrieved from

Kagan, J. (2019a). Goods and services tax. Retrieved from

Kagan, J. (2019b). Income tax terms guide: Taxes. Retrieved from

Kagan, J. (2020a). Progressive Tax. Retrieved from

Kagan, J. (2020b). Regressive Tax. Retrieved from

Kagan, J. (2022). Taxation. Retrieved from

Kagan, J. (2021). Regressive Tax. Retrieved from

Kelkar, V. (2009). A well-designed GST can boost GDP growth by 2%. Business Today. Retrieved

from oost-gdp-growth-by-2percent/story/8474.html

Khoo, S. (2015). Challenges of GST: Cost management and competitiveness. The Star. Retrieved from management-and-competitiveness/

Lam, L. (2018 February 20). Singapore Budget 2018: GST to be raised from 7% to 9% sometime between 2021 and 2025. The Straits Times. Retrieved from from-7-to-9-sometime-between-2021-and-2025

Li, X. (2018). Why the GST Became Malaysia’s Public Enemy Number One. The Diplomat. Retrieved from umber-one/

Lim, J. (2020). Budget 2020: GST hike will not take effect in 2021, but will still be raised by 2025. Today Online. Retrieved from fect-2021-will-still-be-raised-2025

Aziz, M. A. (2017). Pengurusan fiskal berhemat terus dikekal. Berita Harian Online. Retrieved from al-berhemat-terus-dikekal

Marxists express concern over new tax regime. (2017). The Tribune. Retrieved from

Ministry of Finance Singapore. (2008). Forum Replies: ST: Key points omitted in article on inflation. Retrieved from ticle-on-inflation

Ministry of Trade and Industry Republic of Singapore (1986). The Singapore economy: New directions. Retrieved from

Ministry of Communications and Multimedia. Department of Information Services Malaysia. (2013). Cukai Barang dan Perkhidmatan: Apa yang Perlu Anda Tahu. B.064 (B.M) November 2013 (110.). Retrieved from

Ministry of Finance Singapore. (2019). Goods and services tax. Retrieved from

Ministry of Finance Singapore. (2018). Supporting Singaporeans with GST. Retrieved from

Ministry of Finance Malaysia. (2017). Estimates of Federal Government Revenue 2018. Retrieved from RAN%20HASIL%20.Cover%20Page..pdf

Ibrahim, M. I. (2018). Wang BR1M bukan hasil curi - Najib. Berita Harian Online. Retrieved from -hasil-curi-najib

Ikhsan, M. F., Ghani, A. B. A., & Subhan, I. (2017). The Relevancy of the ’Guanxi ’and ’Xinyong’ Concepts in Chinese Business Capitalisation in Indonesia. Journal of International Studies, 13, 97-116. Universiti Utara Malaysia, UUM Press.

Ikhsan, M.F., OK., Islam, R., Khamis, K., & Sunjay, A. (2020). Impact of digital economic liberalization and capitalization in the era of industrial revolution 4.0: case study in Indonesia. Problems and Perspectives in Management, Volume 18, Issue 2, 2020.

Mok, E. (2019). What is VAT and How Does It Work in Singapore? Retrieved from

Muzainah, M., Tayib, M. R., Yusof, N. (2005). Malaysian Indirect Tax Administration System: An Analysis of efficiency and Taxpayers' Perceptions. IJMS 12(2), 19-40. Retrieved from

Ng, J. S. (2018). Bill passed to tax overseas services like Netflix from 2020. The Straits Times. Retrieved from etflix-from-2020

Zakariah, N. S. (2017). Review on the Goods and Services Tax in Malaysia. Journal of Business Innovation, 2(2): 99-106.

Oklahoma Policy Institute. (2020). Characteristics of an Effective Tax System. Retrieved from -tax-system/characteristics-of-an-effective-tax-system/

Poh, E. H. (2005). The Singapore GST: A Possible Model for Hong Kong? Asia-Pacific Journal of Taxation. 8(4): 133-60.

Bedi, R. S. (2018). GST impacted the poor, says Guan Eng. The Star. Retrieved from s-guan-eng

Hussin, R. (2019). Inflasi: Dua Faktor Berlakunya Peningkatan Harga Di Dalam Ekonomi. Majalah Labur. Retrieved from atan-harga-di-dalam-ekonomi

Royal Malaysian Customs Department. (2014). How Does GST Work. Retrieved from

Sanusi, S., Omar, N., & Mohd Sanusi, Z. (2015). Good and Services Tax (GST) Governance in the Malaysian New Tax Environment. Procedia Economics and Finance, 31, 373 – 379. Retrieved from

Sim, K. H. (2019). GST Increase: Here’s How Much the Government Will Collect – And How Much More Will You Be Paying. Dollars and Sense.

Statista. (2020). Singapore: Inflation rate from 1984 to 2021. Retrieved from

Tan, W. Z. (2018). How much additional revenue can S'pore get from raising GST and other taxes? Today Online. Retrieved from uld-come-experts

Omar, A. W. (2018). GST untuk kemajuan, tingkat pembangunan negara. Berita Harian Online. Retrieved from kemajuan-tingkat-pembangunan-negara

Tham, Y. C. (2020). Parliament: Planned increase in GST will need to be done by 2025, says DPM Heng Swee Keat. The Straits Times. Retrieved from ne-by-2025-heng

The tax system in Malaysia. (2018). Retrieved from

Urif, H. B. (2016). Employees' Attitudes toward Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Open University Malaysia (OUM). Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 2(9), 92-99.

Wolff, J. (2017). The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2017 Edition). Retrieved from

World Bank, (2020). Malaysia Inflation Rate 1960-2020.'>Malaysia Inflation Rate 1960-2020. Retrieved 2020-08-19.

Y ong, C. (2018). Analyst: GST has altered Malaysian politics. The Straits Times. Retrieved from

Additional Files