KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Negara today passed five bills, namely the Finance Bill (No. 2) 2017, the Labuan Business Activity Tax (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2017, the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2017, the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2017 and the Arbitration Bill (Amendment) 2017.
The Finance Bill (No.2) 2017 tabled by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Othman Aziz sought to amend the Income Tax Act 1967, the Real Property Gains Tax Act 1976, the Goods and Services Tax Act 2014 and the Finance Act 2013.
This was necessary to enable the implementation of tax measures announced in Budget 2018 and to implement the government’s decision on the improvement of tax administration.
The Labuan Business Activity Tax (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 2017 and the Income Tax Bill (Amendment) 2017 were to allow the automatic exchange of tax information between the government and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Othman said the cooperation between the two parties was proposed beginning 2018.
The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) 2017 Bill tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said was aimed at abolishing the mandatory death sentence under Section 39B which gave more court to use discretion in determining more appropriate penalties against drug offenders.
The Arbitration Bill (Amendment) 2017) was amended to enact the Arbitration Act 2005 (Act 646) aimed at changing the name of Kuala Lumpur Regional Arbitration Centre to International Arbitration Centre of Asia (Malaysia) in establishing a solid platform to make Malaysia a leader in alternative dispute solution.
Later in a statement, Azalina said the passing of an amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act should be seen as a positive start and in line with current needs.
“The bill is introduced as a new strategy of the government’s agenda to combat drugs. In ensuring the effectiveness of the bill, all parties need to cooperate in the combat against drugs.
“Amendment to the bill also shows the government’s openness in making progressive decisions for the sake of the common good.
Dewan Negara will sit again on Monday. –BERNAMA