At investors' conference, PM Anwar says capital gains tax only rolled out after 'extensive' engagement

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today his government’s plan to tax capital gains on unlisted shares will happen only after “extensive engagement” with all parties, a seeming attempt to allay shareowners’ concerns.

“I would like to give you the Government’s commitment that first, the tax will only be finalised upon extensive engagement with stakeholders,” he said in a keynote address delivered at the Invest Malaysia conference here, now in its 21st edition.

“Second, the tax will not be introduced on listed shares. Third, the disposal of unlisted shares for an approved initial public offering will also not be subject to capital gains tax.”

Anwar, who is also finance minister, announced the plan to tax unlisted shares under Budget 2023, a move that came after years of public pressure to raise taxes on the rich amid growing anger about wealth inequality.

The move prompted some criticism that it would allegedly make Malaysia less appealing to investors.

The government had also proposed a luxury tax for items such as branded watches and fashion items starting this year to diversify its tax income from the wealthy.