Opposition’s plans unrealistic, says PM
SHAH ALAM: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday slammed the opposition for “deceiving the people” over their “zero-rate” Goods and Services Tax proposal.
Najib, who is also finance minister, said the country would have lost out on RM42 billion in revenue last year without GST.
He said prior to the implementation of GST in 2015, oil revenues made up 41 per cent of the country’s coffers.
“But, because of the bleak global economy and dipping crude oil prices, the government’s revenue had reduced.
“Thanks to strong and unwavering political will, and for the sake of economic stability, the government remained steadfast in implementing GST.
“How else will they (the opposition) be able to generate RM42 billion? People say that talk is cheap,” Najib said, adding that the opposition’s plans were unrealistic and misleading.
He also said the government would not have been able to continue developing the country or cover mounting operational costs without GST.
“How else would seven million Malaysians receive the 1Malaysia People’s Aid? We would also have had to scrap the 1Malaysia Student Discount Card and slash allocations for the 35 Universiti Teknologi Mara campuses in the country.”
He said the government would have had to withdraw medical subsidies for the people, while “many jobs” would have been lost.
“Parents would also have had to bear their children’s education costs.”
Najib later defended the government’s move to fix the tax at six per cent, saying even large economies like India had plans to introduce their own version of GST with a rate as high as 28 per cent.
“Even Gulf Cooperation Council countries plan to implement GST. In short, Barisan Nasional’s move in introducing the tax is right on time, pragmatic and (its advantages) are evident.”