New Straits Times

‘Opposition wants to emulate BN in implementi­ng GST’

- By Nadia

KUALA LUMPUR: The effectiven­ess of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implemente­d in April 2015 to boost government revenue has opened the eyes of the opposition to continue with the tax system, say experts.

GST, they added, was now accepted as an effective tax instrument that was expected to rake in a tax collection of RM65 billion in the next three years.

GST collection increased to RM44 billion from RM41 billion in 2016.

Prior to this, the opposition had vehemently rejected GST during its tabling in Parliament, claiming that it would burden the people and prompting them to demonstrat­e in the streets.

Economist Professor Dr Barjoyai Bardai said the move by the opposition to implement the GST was seen as a political strategy ploy to fish for votes in the 14th General Election.

“GST is needed by the government to generate revenue,” said Barjoyai.

Geostrateg­ist Azmi Hassan said the promise was a populist move and could affect the economy.

“Previously, the opposition wanted to cover their shortfall in revenue by planning to eliminate corruption and administer an efficient governance.

“But now, they want to imitate the effectiven­ess of the GST implementa­tion, but such proposals are illogical as its implementa­tion takes a long time.”

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid admitted that GST was the main source of revenue for the government after corporate tax collection.

“GST collection­s account for half of the country’s gross domestic product.

“The more private companies are set up, the higher the GST collection will be.”

Afzanizam added that GST depended on the economic situation, especially private consumptio­n involving household and consumer spending.

The better the economy, the higher the collection, he said.

It is learned that one of Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto is expected to include the implementa­tion of GST.

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