It's been awhile since the budget was announced (I wasn't exactly in the country then, and after that I got a tad bit too busy to review it) and there was one thing among a few that people were generally unhappy about. However, despite the numerous complaint letters sent to the papers (mainstream media, alas - sniggers), they had not backed down from the decision to charge every credit card holder a service tax of RM 50 for each principle credit card they have (not necessarily used)
The thing about credit cards is that they're convenient... especially for people who don't fancy carrying around cash. If you look at it, RM 50 may not seem like a huge amount, and it probably isn't for some people, but when it is taken away from you under the pretext of tax - especially service tax, you feel deep pain and intense hatred. It's just like paying the service tax at this certain restaurant my sister and I went to once where people (us included) had to end up doing lots of self-service because the waiters and waitresses there were not providing any.
What's really annoying is the 'reason' behind it... I read somewhere that they thought the imposed fee would deter people from having too many cards and thus reduce the chances of declaring bankruptcy at a young age. Yeah, right. Certain quarters argued that the banks could increase the interest rates for credit cards so that it wouldn't be misused, but even that suggestion was not accepted as it supposedly would push the credit card users into further debt.
With nothing else left to do, and most banks refusing to absorb the service tax, people have been cancelling their cards. If you're Malaysian, you'd understand the humour behind the attachment below... If you're not Malaysian, the person used as a referral (the reason for cancellation) in the application form happens to be the person who tabled the budget back in October, who is also the Finance Minister and our current PM!
Edit: According to insider information from Zewt, the banks were asked to not absorb the service tax. I find that very, very interesting... Hmmm...
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