KUALA LUMPUR: The government is not disputing the goods and services tax (GST), either in terms of its strengths or weaknesses, but rather the timing to implement it, said Deputy Finance Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong.

He said the government's view is that the country is still in the recovery phase post-pandemic and is facing various global economic challenges due to geopolitical unrest, so in this less-than-encouraging economic situation, it is still not ready to implement the GST.

"It is not a discussion about the strength or weakness of the GST taxation system but the appropriateness of it. We have to do the right thing at the right time.

"If you do the right thing but at the wrong time, it will put a burden on the people," he told the Dewan Negara today during the winding-up debate on the mid-term review of the 12th Malaysia Plan.

In addition, Sim said the government will consult with all stakeholders to look at improving the existing taxation system such as the Sales and Services Tax (SST).

Meanwhile, regarding the introduction of a carbon tax, Sim said any introduction of a new tax needs to be carefully studied to take into account its impact not only on economic activities but also on people's lives.

"So in this aspect, the government currently has no decision to implement a carbon tax, but the Ministry of Finance is conducting a study on the feasibility of a carbon tax as one of the carbon pricing Instruments to support the country's aspirations in achieving a reduction in the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) as announced in the 12th Malaysia Plan," he said.

The study also includes a benchmarking process by identifying the best practices that have been implemented in developed countries, he added.