Highlights:
  1.  Wednesday off for Hindu civil servants
  2. PM hopes Japanese universities will open branches in Malaysia
  3. Malaysia’s move to tax digital economy a bold move
Hindu civil servants given an additional day off The government has given Hindu civil servants the option to take one day’s unrecorded leave on Wednesday, 7 November, the day after Deepavali. This will be an additional holiday to the Deepavali public holiday on Tuesday. Public Service Department director-general Datuk Seri Borhan Dolah said in a circular dated today that the option to take unrecorded leave would take effect from 2018.   PM hopes Japanese universities will open branches in Malaysia Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad hopes to see Japanese universities having their branches in Malaysia to enable Malaysian students to not only be exposed to Japan’s education system, but also to learn its culture. He said Malaysia had sent many students to Japan and they contributed much to Malaysia, but the rising costs had made it very difficult to send more students. “We thought the best way is to have Japanese universities in Malaysia. We have been striving to get Japanese universities’ branches in Malaysia. Dr Mahathir is on a three-day working visit to Japan.   Malaysia’s move to tax digital economy a bold move Commenting on the 2019 Budget, Ng Sue Lynn, Executive Director of Indirect Tax at KPMG Tax Services, welcomed the proposal to tax imported services, saying: “This is a welcomed move as it can ensure that local service providers such as architects, graphic designers and software developers can compete on a more level playing field with foreign service providers. Currently, foreign service providers providing similar services do not need to charge Malaysian service tax, unlike the local service providers who are Service Tax registered. Based on the proposal, the mechanism may be similar to the previous Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime where the onus is on the recipient of the services (which are businesses) to account, declare and report the tax. It remains to be seen what the reporting mechanism is for businesses who are currently not registered under the Service Tax regime,” said Ng. Ng commented: “This move to tax the digital economy is in line with the intention of other countries and it is a bold move as Malaysia will be one of the first to introduce such system. There are further areas that need to be clarified such as how the foreign service providers will register with RMCD, and what enforcement rules and reporting mechanism are in place. It is noted that a new provision will be introduced in the Service Tax Act 2018 to cover this. As this proposal is proposed to be effective from 1 January 2020, the RMCD has 1 year to study, analyse and come up with an efficient mechanism.”