Op­po­si­tion’s plans un­re­al­is­tic, says PM

New Straits Times - - News -

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.”

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