The government is mulling imposing a service charge of 0.02 percent on online purchases, including on e-commerce websites such as Lazada and Shopee.

This according to Communication and Multimedia Deputy Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin, who spoke to reporters in Bachok, Kelantan, today, reported Malaysiakini.

"For example, 20 sen (service charge) will be imposed on purchases of under RM1,000.

"So we can use that money for (cyber) security, because it is expensive," he was quoted saying.

According to Bernama, the additional charge of 20 sen will be for purchases between RM200 and RM1,000, while it will be 40 sen for purchases exceeding RM1,000.

"This matter is still under discussion at the ministerial level, and it is an approach that could bring revenue to the government, while not burdening the people," he was quoted saying.

"The collected service charge can be used to improve the communication security to prevent scammers and cyber intrusions. This is not GST (Goods and Services Tax) because now, a lot of online transactions are not charged tax and this causes losses to the government," Zahidi added.

He further noted that the application of such charge is "complicated" and thus, would need Parliament approval.

Noting the prevalence of cyber attacks around the world, Zahidi, who is also Padang Besar MP, stressed the importance of upgrading the country's cyber security abilities, and said it is the shared responsibility of the people to help foot the bill for the purpose.

Source: Malaysiakini
Photo source: Astro Awani