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Berita Publishing And Rock Band Wings Both Blame GST For Slowdown

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PETALING JAYA: The media and the entertainment industry is feeling the effect of Goods and Services Tax (GST), when one pioneer publishing company was forced to shut down its decades old publications last Tuesday.

A popular 80’s rock band, Wings has also cited the new consumption tax as a reason behind the poor sales of tickets for their recent concert at Istana Budaya, ‘Ta’kan Melayu Hilang di Dunia’.

The country’s one of the oldest publishing companies, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd told mStar Online that it had to cease publications of four of its magazines after they recorded significant losses primarily due to GST, which was implemented in April.

Describing GST as a “main killer” to its operations, its executive director, Juhaidi Yean Abdullah said the magazines were not being sold anymore and were returned to the company in large quantities by vendors since April.

“Imagine that out of 30,000 copies published, 28,000 were returned to us unsold. It does not profit us at all.

“The three main factors that forced us to shut down the publications were due to lack of advertising revenue, staff retention difficulties and the biggest killer is the GST,” he said.

Juhaidi said because GST was imposed on magazine publications, the vendors were required to upgrade their payment systems by latest October.

However, he said, since April, many vendors chose not to sell the magazines as they have yet to upgrade their system to tally with GST.

“In the end, they took the easy way out by burying the magazines at the bottom of the shelves, and not displaying them for public view,” he said.

Founded in 1973, Berita Publishing is a popular publishing house for Malaysian Business, Jelita, Anjung Seri and Madam Chair.

As for the legendary Malay rock band, Wings frontman, Awie told mStar Online that GST has a huge impact on the entertainment industry, where people were now more afraid to spend their money.

“Actually, we are heavily affected by the GST, as it has caused the tickets’ prices to soar and eventually the people also suffer losses,” said Awie, whose real name is Ahmad Azhar Othman.-The Star

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