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Malaysia mulls new tax measures to reduce debt
Last Updated: 2018-10-09 14:45 | Xinhua
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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday that his government may need to roll out new tax measures in facing the debt problems.

In delivering the keynote address at a forum here, Mahathir said his administration had inherited a cash strapped government.

"People are expecting something good to come from the change of government, but it will be tough because we have inherited a country which has been depleted." he said.

The government may need to explore measures including introducing new tax, selling land to the locals or selling some of the government assets, Mahathir said.

Since coming to power after the general election in May, Mahathir has put priorities on reducing debt, which he said was accumulated by the previous government.

His government is also facing a shortfall in revenue after fulfilled the campaign promise by abolishing the unpopular goods and service tax.

"Malaysian's have proven they can go through many problems and survive," he said, when comparing the current situation to the 1997 Asian financial crisis, stressing that Malaysia's economic foundation remains strong.

In a follow-up speech after Mahathir, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the new taxes will be rolled out when he tables the new national budget in November.

"Some additional tax measures will be included in Budget 2019," he said.

Lim said a tax reform committee formed by the government was tasked with diversifying tax revenue and to make the tax system more efficient and progressive.

"The same committee will also be reviewing tax incentives given out previously to see that these measures are still relevant to support high-quality economic growth," he added.

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