Malaysia's mobile operators have announced plans to introduce a 6% surcharge on prepaid rates from Thursday.
In a statement, Celcom said the operators have been absorbing a service tax on prepaid top-up and starter packs since introducing the services in 1998.
But due to cut-rate call and SMS rates – as low as 0.12 ringgit ($0.04) per minute and 10 ringgit respectively – operators have decided to stop absorbing the tax to keep prepaid prices competitive to postpaid, Maxis revealed in a separate announcement.
The surcharge will apply across all credit recharge channels. It will be remitted to the government.
Celcom will suspend recharges through channels including ATMs, internet banking and electronic payment kiosks while it incorporates the new charges.
The Malaysian government told All Headline News it had no role in the decision to start passing on the service tax after all these years.
The government increased the nation's service tax from 5% to the current 6% as of the start of the year.