Kuala Lumpur – No new sin tax was announced today in the Budget 2015 presentation despite the recent hullabaloo over Oktoberfest here in the Klang Valley.
Sin taxes, as they are commonly known, are taxes levied on alcohol, tobacco, and gambling. From 2008 to 2012, some RM6.3 billion in sin tax revenue was collected, with the biggest payout coming from Sports Toto Malaysia.
The move against levying more sin taxes this year comes as a surprise as Malaysia has traditionally raised taxes on the sin items and the Health Ministry was reportedly studying a sin tax on sugary drinks earlier this year. It was expected that the taxes on alcohol would be raised.
Earlier this month, controversy arose over the Oktoberfest beer drinking celebrations sponsored by the Guinness Anchor and Carlsberg companies, with Muslim groups saying that they would tarnish the image of Malaysia as an Islamic country.
In the wake of the protests, a planned celebration at One Utama Shopping Centre was moved to the mall’s indoor car park.
In August, terrorists affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS) plotted to bomb a Carlsberg factory and several nightclubs and pubs but were caught before they could execute their plans.
Originally celebrated in Munich, Germany, Oktoberfest has become a phenomenon celebrated worldwide in several different countries. The biggest celebration, however, remains in the festival’s homeland, with several thousand people traveling to “the world’s largest funfair” annually.