A Brief History of Federation of Goldsmith and Jewellers Association of Malaysia
The Association started life as Goldsmith Merchants Association of Malaysia established on 25 April 1978 made up of twelve founder associations viz: the Goldsmith Association of Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang, the Perak Chinese Goldsmith Association, the Penang Gold and Silver Merchants Association, Province Wellesley Gold and Silver Ornament Merchants Association, the Gold and Silver Merchants Association Kedah, the North Perak Goldsmith Association, the Lower Perak Goldsmith Association, Melacca Goldsmith Merchants Association, the Muar Goldsmith Merchants Association, the Batu Pahat Gold and Silver Merchants Association, the South Johore Golden Ornaments Trade Association, Kelantan Chinese Gold Merchants Association and the following were elected to the First Council of the Association: President: Leong Yee Ban, Vice President: Thong Chew Wah, Treasurer: Wong Sik Kay, General Secretary: Yee Siew Kun, Liason Officers: Loong Kooi, Chooi Sui Kee. Members of the Council: Ko Hon Kwong, Lo Chup Pho, Dato Wong Chor Wah, Loong Hue Toong, Mak Guan Pin, Thoo Chee Kee, Looi Chun Sing, Lan Keng Yeew, Koh Choong, Ho How Kwong, Choong Wei Sing. Three Members were also entrusted with the task of drawing up a constitution. They were Leong Yee Ban, Yee Siew Kun and Wong Sik Kay.
Establishing the Association in those early days had not been easy. The founding fathers from the various states had to overcome a whole range of obstacles and difficulties. However, Spurred on by the desire for unity, for the better development of the trade and the need to protect of the legitimate rights of fellow members they preserved and finally succeeded.
In 1985 the constitution was amended under the leadership of then president Datuk Ng Teck Fong under which the Association became the Federation of Goldsmith and Jewellers Association of Malaysia
The new constitution was duly approved by the Registrar of Societies on 25 July 1985. By the time the number of constituent associations has increased from 12 to 19.
Besides better understanding and relationships between members it also standardizes retail charges of gold and other jewelry ornaments. It also exercises responsibilities in the arbitration of industrial disputes between the employers and the employed.
In 1972 the government implemented sales tax. To protect the interest of members.
The Association set up a sub-committee to study the problem and negotiated with the Government. They were able to persuade the government to understand the special circumstances under which the members operated and to improve its measures in taxation.
In 1974 and 1975 the government once again increased its taxes on the gold and jewelry trade according to the following scheme:
|Import Duty||Surtax||Sales Tax||Total|
|Loose Jade & Diamond||15%||5%||10%||30%|
The above measures placed great restrictions on the jewelry trade in the country. Large number of goldsmiths started to leave for neighboring countries in search of a livelihood.
The Association thereby presented the government with a fresh memorandum urging the a reduction of Import Tax on Jewellery Raw Material from 30% to 15% and taxes on gold bars from 22% to 5%.
Following joint meetings and consultations the requests we accepted.
In 1982 the Association presented the government with another memorandum asking for a free and open policy whereby gold bar imports would be exempted from taxtation, Gold Control liberalized and import license (A.P) for import of gold abolished.
On 21 October 1983 the government announced the exemption of gold (Import Tax on Non-monetary Gold Bullion) from import duties. Further Government listed gold and ornamental jewelry pioneer products and those engaged in the gold and jewelry trade enjoyed pioneer status with five years tax free exemption.
On 1 January 1987 the Government relaxed its regulations on gold control and gold regained free trade status.
On 1 April 1987 important license for gold (A.P) was abolished.
The above measures successfully removed the obstacles and hindrances facing the gold and jewelry industry. As a result business began to flourish and prosper.
Our present concern is the government’s plan to introduce compulsory Hallmarking system. We have already submitted a memorandum to the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs requesting the government not to risk adopting a system which can have grave consequences for the jewelry trade in particular and the national economy in general.
We are currently engaged in discussion with the authorities on this important issue and hope that the government will be sympathetic to the people’s view point and do away with any compulsory Hallmarking. Finally, we hope that all those engaged in the gold and jewelry trade will continue the good work and fulfill the aspiration of those who have gone before us, Only through unity can we have the Strength to protect our legitimate interests as well as to face successfully the challenges that lie ahead. And ensure our trade will continue to grow and prosper.