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Shahrir won’t support call for lower levy

KUALA LUMPUR, 17 March 2009: Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said he would not support calls by restaurant operators for a lower levy on foreign workers.

He said that most restaurants that needed many foreign workers operate 24 hours and they had to face the fact if they wanted to operate 24 hours there would be a cost to be borne in the form of a higher levy.

“I will not support their request, I have no sympathy on this levy reduction issue,” he told reporters after launching a health campaign here today.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when tabling the mini budget in the Dewan Rakyat on March 10, outlined a move to raise the levy on foreign workers except for the construction and plantation sectors and housemaids.

Four days later, four national associations representing Indian, Muslim, Chinese and Bumiputera restaurant operators urged the government to cancel the increase from RM1,800 to RM3,600, saying that it was unreasonable in view of the economic slowdown and dwindling revenue. — Bernama


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