Another Zahidi Gaffe, as Ministry Denies 20-sen Charge for Online Purchases

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Zahidi’s comments drew brickbats from politicians on both sides of the political divide, including from Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa who vowed to oppose such a proposal if it is ever tabled in the cabinet.

The communications and multimedia ministry has no intention of imposing a 20 sen charge for purchases costing between RM200 and RM1,000 on online platforms, such as Lazada and Shopee.

The clarification came in a statement by the ministry today following comments made by its deputy minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin.

“With reference to the statement made (by Zahidi) yesterday in Kelantan, the ministry would like to explain that we have not had any discussions to implement a 20-sen service charge for users of e-commerce platforms, whenever they purchase anything under RM1,000 and another 20 sen for the following RM1,000,” the ministry said.

Speaking at a community programme in Bachok yesterday, Zahidi said the measure was aimed at raising funds to help the B40 group as well as to improve telecommunications infrastructure in rural areas.

Zahidi Zainul Abidin has now been corrected twice in the past seven days over ‘inaccurate’ statements.

Stating the ministry is discussing plans to find alternative resources that will not burden the people, Zahidi said the 20 sen will be like a service charge.

“If the purchase exceeds RM1,000, then an additional 20 sen will be charged to make it a total of 40 sen,” he told reporters.

This is the second time in less than a week that the deputy minister has given inaccurate information in a public forum.

Last week, in the Dewan Negara, he accused Sabahan Veveonah Mosibin of faking her online exam to garner views for her YouTube video channel. He later apologised to Veveonah and said he had received “inaccurate information” on the matter. – FMT