Najib Razak has insisted the GST would see a financially “healthier” Malaysia, days after a former prime minister vowed to abolish the controversial tax should the opposition come to power.
Likening the goods and services tax (GST) implemented in 2015 to a bitter but effective pill for the economy, the prime minister went on to urge opponents of the 6% tax to “give it a rest” as the GST has contributed RM40 billion in revenue to the government’s coffers.
“It is okay to have differences of opinion but please give us a better alternative than what we are doing today.
“What is a better alternative? Sales and services tax? That will not be enough.
“When we suggest something, it has to be based on reality. Or else, we will be cheating the rakyat,” he said at the “An evening with the PM” gathering organised by Baling Umno at the Padang Awam Kuala Ketil today.
Najib also said that without the GST, the government would have trouble paying the salaries of government officers and pensions.
He then said Malaysians should consider themselves lucky as India is planning to introduce consumption taxes that may reach as high as 23%.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad had a few days ago, at the official launching of PPBM, made several pledges including to do away with the GST, which many have blamed for the rising cost of living.
Malaysia’s longest serving PM said he would replace the GST with the sales tax.
When the GST was introduced two years ago, it replaced the 10% sales tax and 6% service tax.
Source : Predeep Nambiar @ FMT Online