Opposition lying about reason for introducing GST, says Najib
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has refuted the opposition’s claim that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced due to 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) finances.
“This baseless allegation is another attempt by the opposition to gain support even though they understand the real reason behind the introduction of the GST,” Najib said on his blog najibrazak.com yesterday.
Najib, who is also finance minister, added that the opposition had, on numerous occasions, said they would retain the GST.
“To say that the GST stemmed from the government’s administration failure is a lie because 160 countries are also implementing GST, including advanced nations like Britain, France, Germany and Canada.”
Najib also criticised Pakatan Harapan chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his role in spreading the lie.
“Because of Dr Mahathir’s obsession with toppling the government, he forces other opposition leaders to lie to the public by promising to scrap GST even though they know that without an income source to replace the country’s oil revenue, the economy will collapse and the people will suffer.
“But, Dr Mahathir doesn’t care as long as he can topple the government,” he said, adding that the people should reject the opposition’s claim.
Najib made it clear that although it was unpopular, the GST had helped the government to generate revenue to mitigate the fall in the country’s oil revenue.
“All this while, the national income was supported by oil revenue to ensure that people got basic and public services,” he said.
“However, in 2014, the oil price plummeted and Malaysia was also affected.
“The situation caused national revenue to decrease by more than RM40 billion, which is a sum that would have definitely caused many (of the) services to cease.
“Until today, the people’s quality of life has been safeguarded due to GST,” he said, adding that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, had also implemented GST.
Malaysia implemented GST on April 1, 2015. Crude oil prices averaged US$100 (RM427.90) per barrel, before falling to about US$50 a barrel.