These are just plain opinions; they can be rejected, refuted, argued against or accepted. These words are not meant to impose my ideals upon anybody , and they are not going against the law of the diversity of thoughts~~

Thursday, 21 November 2013

ضريبة السلع والخدمات- GST

           It is getting colder here, in Nottingham. I’ve seen the leaves turn from green to red and yellow, and now the trees look lifeless and barren as autumn dictates its rules. As I struggle in these unknown territories of freezing mornings and nights with chilling winds, I really could not care less about my country thousands of miles away and its problems- I need to warm myself first.

          Who cares about complicated taxes and screwed up politicians anyway?  We students are better off playing games on the next-generation consoles or reading rather pointless writings upon philosophy and absurd ways of life. If you are a slightly decent person then I would say that we should just concentrate upon our studies and get stuck in libraries reading things you can’t understand over and over again.

            If you don’t enjoy games, then you can watch movies or try to write some funny things on your blog to increase your followers. Or else, just watch some cat videos on Youtube  or weird stunts made by Japanese people. Sleeping the whole day is a better thing to do , rather than writing about taxes. It’s a depressing thing to write about, when the economics class doesn’t really make any sense anyway.

           I decided to write today because human beings have a sense of responsibility and some sort of love towards justice and equality, no matter how complacent   and indulgent they are. Thus, after hours of gaming and doing pointless things as written above, I hereby decided to purify my soul and do some good.

                GST is a tax. We should really care about it, and we have no option but to care, since the ones paying the six percent is ourselves. Unless if you were born a millionaire and you have too much money to spend, then you are better off doing something else. It’s a substitution to the income tax.

              Income tax is an inefficient method of taxation, as many people can get away with it. Our nation’s income tax has a filing system, which involves filling in information about our income and expenses in a year, details about assets and family members. This information will be processed by LHDN, and that will determine the amount of tax you have to pay. People can easily falsify this information to avoid paying tax, by simply cheating on the number of children and wives they have, or through creative accounting, and many other ways.

                  Since most Malaysians are middle income earners, they are not even obligated to pay taxes.  Only about a million out of 12 million workers in Malaysia pay income taxes, and that explains the inefficiency.

               GST on the other hand applies to almost every kind of goods and services, and thus even those who avoided tax before will have to pay the burden. GST is a substitution tax, in the sense that when it is implemented, income tax is lowered-it is a substitute to the ineffective income tax.

          Sales and services tax (SST) which was implemented before was just as inefficient. It is limited to only 25 groups of trades, and applies only to retailers-the ones at the end of the production chain. In other words, you don’t have to pay tax if you are not the final consumer. GST applies tax to all stages of production, so if the retailers are not qualified for GST, manufacturers will have to pay the tax for they purchases from suppliers of raw goods , and then they will sell the produced goods to retailers at a higher price  and taxed with same percentage. The difference between the 6 percent paid to the supplier of raw foods and the 6 percent sold to the retailer is paid to the government.

                 I need to learn the art of simplifying things. Sorry if you don’t understand that- go read some more.

To make it simple, as GST applies to all stages of production, people have no choice but to pay. Period.

             We are not against taxation or specifically, GST. It is an efficient taxation system, and it will definitely bring more income for the government. Honestly, it is an improvement, and we should support a better system of bureaucracy.  Supposedly, as the nation’s income increases, there is more room for development and the betterment of people’s lives . Without taxes, the beloved government can’t afford to build  roads and schools for our children.  Damaged trains will not be repaired, teachers be unpaid, doctors starved to death, hospitals stop working , and there won’t be any subsidy for  gas and food either.

                 Therefore , we should be thankful to the government who had to raise taxes for our sake, albeit rather reluctantly. Without  them the country would have turned into a sparse desert, a warzone without a 
legit currency. Like seriously.

                  What the heck.

            It is an undeniable fact that the government had been complacent in the handling of our money, or as one can see in the Auditor’s report, they revelled in wasting it. Why should excess in spending caused by corruption and misuse of funds be paid by the people? Shouldn’t they limit their expenses before asking people to pay more?  Stating that GST would not raise the price of goods is a lie. Even implementing it will cost a lot to firms, as they are required to hire accountants , buy computers and programming systems to calculate taxes that need to be paid to the government. Production costs will increase , as electricity bills will rise , and so will the price of raw goods-the exception of GST to electricity only includes the first 200 units.

                   I like to reiterate that we do  not have problems with taxes. It is for the sake of the country and the people. The only problem we have is with the way the money is spent, and the motivation of those rulers spending it.

         It is cold here, and we pay GST  at the rate of 20% in the UK. Yet we feel nothing wrong about it. Because the governance is trustworthy, and we know where does our money goes to. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Bangladeshi Workers' Front

                           Let us pray for our neighbours in the Philippines; may Allah give them strength and ease their hardship.

          I have been staring at the screen for too long, thinking about ways to begin this particular essay, but nothing comes to mind, so this awkward sentence will serve as the introduction. Sorry for that. I had been thinking about the value of human lives , the value of my own, and the value of yours ,and suddenly had the urge to write something and make myself look clever. That way, I might raise the value of my life higher than yours.
   Please continue reading even though the previous paragraph makes no sense. Thanks.

            In economics , a rational consumer is assumed to be able to rate and define his preferences, in an ordinal way. A friend of mine for example, likes coffee more than tea, and likes tea more than orange juice. If he ranks his preferences, then coffee would take the first place, and orange juice the third . Can we do such rankings upon human lives?

                If I have four wives , perhaps I can make a ranking based upon the performance of each of my wives; I seriously think it would be disastrous at the end though. We have had various measures of valuing human lives; starting from rankings in school examinations to achievements in the work place. People who had succeeded  in their education and their careers might value themselves more than others, just like some ministers who view themselves high apart from penniless villagers who sometimes can’t even read.

           Those who studied abroad might think that they are better than their local counterparts- perhaps even going as far as saying that local students are narrow minded and closed to worldly views. Can we really put values upon people’s lives that way?
                In our religion, there is no such thing. No matter how highly accomplished one is, there is no way that he can claim that the value of his life is higher than others. The competition is open and fair in this religion, that no one has an advantage over the other. A beggar can always be better than a king-and the case is almost always so. Poor people can be better than the rich; in the judgement of Allah- after all He  values the deeds of men and the condition of their hearts- not education certificates and yearly incomes.

    Even a religious scholar can’t claim that he is better than a sinner, since at the end , nobody knows what are they going to be.

            I am trying to establish an agreement with you that we can’t value our lives more than others.   We do not have the knowledge of other people’s deeds and the condition of their hearts, and thus we are unable to judge others.

                 If you agree with the previous statement, then I would like to add another factor that we had used to differentiate ourselves from others; national borders and IDs. I have seen people cringing at the sight of foreigners in  the city centre, sometimes even swearing at them out of spite. In my hometown for example, there had been an influx of Bangladeshis   who came to work in construction sites and factories, and the city centre is crowded with these newcomers in the weekends.

         People have become afraid   to walk  in the city and had refrained from doing so, citing safety reasons and increasing street crimes. They put the blame upon the foreign workers. They speak as if  their own sons and neighbours are saints; free of any crimes and wrongdoings. We put the value of our lives higher than those immigrants, because we are citizens of this country. We made it sound as if those people are less civilized than we are, yet we don’t have any right to do so.

          The recent shooting case was a prime example. When the security guard-supposedly a foreigner- shot the bank officer  in the face, the majority of foreign workers received the blame. We somehow managed to stereotype all those foreign workers as the leading cause for crimes and violence. We blame them, as if our own citizens did not shoot others in the face.

               What is it that makes the lot of us regard themselves better than those immigrants? Is it because we are citizens of this country, and they aren’t? This world was not created with borders. Such lines and fences never existed to begin with. Why should we restrict ourselves in man-made borders, and  go to the extent of discriminating the ones outside?

              A difference in income does not make us better than those foreign workers with minimum wages.  The difference in nationality never gives us any advantage upon any people, nor does our birthplace, skin colour and race. We do not own the land, and neither does the government, that we might put borders and claim the nation as ours. I might sound like a communist there- but it’s true- as our time upon this planet is just so short.
         It seems ironic that while we try to fight racism in this country, discriminating immigrants does not seem like a wrong thing to do. As if that in itself is not racism.

        I will not go as far as to stand in the city centre and  give free hugs to immigrants. But I will say this; we have no rights to claim that the value of our lives is ever better than anyone else.