MP Steven Sim asks if ‘sin tax’ revenue will be used for non-Muslims only

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All revenue from excise tax – on hard liquor, tobacco products, cars, and so on – are currently added into the government’s consolidated fund.

An opposition MP has suggested for Putrajaya to separate the revenue from “sin taxes” on hard liquor and gambling from the government’s consolidated fund and only use it for the development of non-Muslims.

Steven Sim Chee Keong (Harapan-Bukit Mertajam) mooted this idea as he said PAS – one of the parties in the ruling coalition – has been very aggressive against alcohol and gambling, which have taxes imposed on them.

“I would like to ask…does the government plan to separate the tax revenue from alcohol and gambling – known as the sin tax – from the consolidated fund so that this money (from the sin tax) will only be used for non-Muslims?

“(This is) seeing as PAS, a party in the ruling coalition, have been so passionate about banning alcohol and gambling and such,” Sim asked in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He earlier asked the Finance Ministry to present a list of revenue collected from excise taxes on hard liquor since 2010.

Based on the answer given by Deputy Finance Minister II Yamani Hafez Musa, Sim noted that the excise tax revenue from hard liquor is about RM1.68 billion on average every year, which he said is quite a high number.

He said PAS is also purportedly concerned about this “sinful money” being used for Muslim people and for the development of Islam.

However, Yamani said all revenue from excise tax – on hard liquor, tobacco products, cars, and so on – are currently added into the government’s consolidated fund.

“There has been no decision on separating the revenue,” he said.

Sim’s suggestion comes amid news that the PAS-led Kedah state government has ordered all local councils in the state to ban lottery gaming outlets.

That came on the heels of a ban on the sale of liquor in sundry, retail, and Chinese medicine shops in Kuala Lumpur.