Country Rankings - Malaysia
Nov 02, 2015 Malaysia: sugar-coatsI've been following the world of tax for more years than I care to remember, and therefore I've heard all the excuses under the sun that finance ministers give when they need to increase tax. Or so I thought. I'm going to remember October 23, 2015, as the date when Malaysia's Prime Minister and Minister of Finance sprung a new one on me by announcing in the 2016 Budget statement that a hike in income tax would make the country more "competitive." No, that's not a mistake, and you haven't misread that, he actually said it. From the budget speech itself, I quote: "In an effort to strengthen the tax structure to be more competitive and progressive, it is proposed that the taxable income band for the highest tax rate be increased," etc., etc.… Progressive, certainly. But competitive? I've yet to hear anyone say "I've decided to move to such-and-such a country, because, guess what, they've just put tax up! Yipee!" And I'm acquainted with some pretty odd people. I'm not sure which is worse: the raising of taxes or politicians' pathetic attempts to sugar-coat tax hikes. I do understand that sometimes tax increases are unavoidable, but political double-speak certainly is avoidable, and the world would be an infinitely better place without it.