The Penang government today expressed regret that Putrajaya did not scrap the goods and services tax (GST) but instead praised it as Malaysia's saviour.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng questioned Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's argument that the 6% consumption tax ensured civil servants still received their salaries.
"He is still trying to justify the GST. The tax did not save Malaysia, but maybe it did save the federal government from bankruptcy.
"It has burdened the people, giving them less money to save and spend. All this is due to mismanagement of our economy.
That is why they need the GST," he said at his Komtar office today. Lim was responding to Najib's statement ahead of announcing changes to Budget 2016 today.
Najib said Malaysia's economy and financial situation were stable due to GST implementation.
He also announced that RM51 billion revenue including GST was collected last year, a marked increase from the RM37.2 billion collected in 2014, without the consumption tax.
The tax at 6% was introduced in April last year. Najib also told civil servants that increased government revenue from GST had enabled them to keep their jobs.
But Lim said he could not understand the rationale for the statement.
"Businesses have suffered due to GST and people don't have enough money to spend.
"What good can tax reliefs do when the people don't even have enough money? It won't save the economy, and it won't bring back the ringgit to its value of between RM3.20 and RM3.50 against the US dollar."
In Penang, he said, Pakatan Harapan had no GST to get revenue from, but could still pay its civil servants and record yearly surpluses.
Lim later distributed documents showing how the Penang government had achieved surpluses and increased its reserves without GST.
"I will show you proof. This is not a 'syok sendiri' (self-glorifying) kind of talk," he said, as copies of the Auditor-General's report on the Penang government's 2014 financial statement were given to reporters.
It showed that from 2010 to 2014, the state reserves increased from RM572.5 million to RM880.75 million.
Asked about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) motion that was passed in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, Lim said the people would be the judge.
"It was a bitter day for many. When the price of medicine increases, it will be because of the TPPA. BN will have to bear the blame."
Dewan Rakyat endorsed the motion to sign and ratify the TPPA following a two-day special parliamentary meeting on the controversial multi-national trade pact.
The motion was passed after a bloc vote in the House, with 127 backbenchers voting in favour of the pact while the 84 opposition MPs voted against the motion. – January 28, 2016.
Source from themalaysianinsider