Hornbill Unleashed

August 10, 2017

Government can still run well without GST — Voon

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Scrapping the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not a problem if the government of the day practises good governance and zero-tolerance against corruption, said PKR Women national vice president Voon Shiak Ni.

Voon was responding to critics from BN who asked how the nation could survive without GST, after Pakatan Harapan (PH) had pledged to do away with GST within the first 100 days upon taking over Putrajaya, besides introducing a two-term limit for the prime minister’s post.

“We need to remind them that our nation survived 58 years without GST. GST was only introduced two years ago by (Datuk Seri) Najib (Tun Razak) when the national debt escalated with the financial crisis fuelled by the 1MDB scandal,” she told a press conference here yesterday, referring to the Prime Minister.

Voon recalled that last year, Najib, in one of his media statements, was quoted as saying that more people had accepted the fact that GST had saved the nation from suffering a serious financial crisis as what happened in Greece and that without GST, Malaysia’s economy would be bleak.

“We take that (Najib’s statement) as an admission by the BN government that GST was implemented to save the country because of the huge national debts. It is not true that people had accepted the implementation of GST. The people were not given a choice.”

She said without a transparent system in place on how the billions of ringgit collected from GST would be used for development, the people were not convinced why they needed to pay GST for many things.

“Before the people can see benefit on the ground, they are burdened with the financial hardships that they have to cope with everyday. GST is charged even when we withdraw money from the automated teller machine (ATM).”

According to Voon, PKR has been conducting anti-GST campaigns, with the latest held at a roadside in Miri last weekend.

“From the number of road users who waved back at us during peak hours from 4.30pm to 6pm, it is beyond any doubt that the public are feeling the pinch over the escalating high cost of living these days. The anti-GST campaign will continue in Miri this coming weekend as a serious call to the government that GST is not acceptable to the people.”

By simple calculation, even the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) recipients or families with household income of less than RM3,000 would need to spend between RM1,500 and RM2,000 to pay GST every year, Voon added.

As for those with household income between RM5,000 and RM8,000, who are mostly civil servants, she estimated that they will need to spend RM4,000 or RM5,000 each year on GST.

“That is a lot of money and if this sum had not gone to GST, families can use them for expenses on books and uniforms for school-going children when schools reopen every year.”

Voon was also dismayed that the Auditor-General (AG)’s Report had continuously shown records of wastages and leakages in government departments and agencies.

“In the past, we have seen records of items bought by the departments for a few hundred times more than the market value. This year, the latest AG’s Report shows  money paid out to departments and contractors not supported by payment certificates and also for works not done.”

She said the BN had to admit that the states under PH administration, namely Selangor and Penang, “have saved tonnes of money” since becoming the government in 2008 which, in return, benefited the people, adding that the latest financial report also showed that both states had the lowest debts owed to the federal government.

Source : The Borneo Post Online



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