The tax exemption for first time car buyers reported to be part of Budget 2017 was already proposed by the opposition in 2012, said Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli.
“For as long as I had campaigned for excise taxes to be abolished since 2012, not once did any Umno or BN ministers admit my call had merit.
“Instead, they made accusations and attacked me with all kinds of names,” said Rafizi in a statement today.
“Their (BN) newspapers continued to report that Pakatan Rakyat (through abolishing the tax) … would bankrupt the nation, just like Utusan Malaysia,” he said.
He was responding to a report in Sinar Harian Online today that Prime Minister Najib Razak’s budget is expected to include a tax exemption for first time purchase of cars.
Quoting sources by Sinchew Daily, Sinar reported buyers could look forward to savings of RM300 to RM2,000 for their purchases, depending on whether the vehicle is imported or local.
Rafizi said Najib had copied Pakatan’s proposals in the ruling party’s own manifesto for the 13th general election by saying if elected, BN would cut car prices by 30 percent in stages.
“When they were attacking me, they were also stealing my ideas,” said Rafizi.
“Now Najib has copied my idea again but will not admit it,” he added.
Ironically, the critic reported by Utusan at the time was former Umno veteran Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has since quit Umno and joined hands with the opposition to challenge BN’s grip on power.
‘Too proud to implement’
Rafizi, who is PKR secretary-general, said it was “regrettable” that Najib refuses to “put the people first and stop politicking valuable suggestions by Pakatan Harapan”.
He said BN ministers know their ideas are beneficial to the people and economy but are too arrogant to admit the fact.
“Because of their arrogance, our suggestions were not implemented earlier, that is in 2012 when I first suggested it; instead we have to wait five years till 2017.”
The MP added that the reported Budget 2017 provision is but a small part of the overall suggestion to cut vehicle taxes and make cars more affordable to the struggling populace.
Excise taxes, he said, should not be levied on the lower class vehicles but luxury vehicles.
“My advice to Najib – if you want to copy, then copy the whole thing and not just a portion.”