To all the boba fanatics, do not worry that the sugar tax which took effect today (Jul 1) will increase the price of your already costly drink. All bubble teas serve freshly at a store will not be affected by the new tax.
Tabled during Budget 2019 last November, the sugar tax will impose RM0.40 per litre on sweetened beverages but it does not apply on drinks prepared and served at eateries.
“This tax will be limited to manufacturers, it will not affect drinks prepared and served at eateries. (But) it is better to educate the public not to take coloured and sweetened drinks served in restaurants,” said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad back in April, as quoted by Awani Review.
NST reported that drinks serve in Mamak restaurants, such as Teh Tarik, Milo Ice or Syrup Bandung, will not be affected by the new tax as well.
“At the moment, we (Health Ministry) are not regulating on those (eateries),” Dr Dzulkefly clarified.
Today marks the first day of the sugar tax which is imposed on two categories of ready-to-drink beverages: carbonated drinks with flavoured or added sugar exceeding 5g per 100ml and fruit and vegetable juices with sugar content exceeding 12g per 100ml.
Based on our paperback calculation, a 1.5-litre of Coca-Cola which was previously sold at RM3.40 will increase to RM4.00 after the new tax. That is a huge difference!
There is 10.6g of sugar per 100 ml of Coca-Cola original taste, according to Coca-Cola website.
In a poll conducted by international survey agency YouGov for The Star, it is found that 59% out of 1,022 respondents said they would cut down soft drink after the sugar tax, 13% said they would stop altogether.
On the other side, 25% said they would drink as much as before while 3% reported that they would, in fact, drink more.
The Customs Department announced yesterday (Jun 30) that businesses will be given a two-month transition period for its implementation.
The tax is a government’s effort to cut down obesity in the country. Malaysia is known as the fattest country in Asia with nearly half the adult population is either overweight or obese, The New York Times reported.
See, we are the fattest country in Asia… which explains why the queues are always so long at bubble tea stores here.
Let’s hope this new tax will make Malaysians more aware of the amount of sugar we take in daily.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below.