KUALA LUMPUR – April 27, 2017: PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar has defended Pakatan Harapan’s plan to impose zero rating on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) if the opposition wins the next general election.
According to her, this change will help reduce the cost of living for Malaysians with lower costs and in less time, rather than dismantling the entire tax system.
“Malaysia as a nation, between the government and private sector, has spent an estimated RM5 billion to prepare for the GST,” she wrote in a WhatsApp message to The Mole today.
“To dismantle the system for a new one, even more money would have to be invested on all fronts. Zeroing GST is the recommended option, the public will no longer pay any GST while businesses do not suffer another costly change in tax regime.”
Nurul Izzah, who is currently in Sri Lanka, was responding to criticisms directed at her following her statement on Tuesday that the Barisan Nasional government is victimising the people through the GST and PH intends to reduce the tax to zero per cent if it comes to power.
In that statement, she also accused Putrajaya of imposing the GST due to losses incurred by 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
Responding to her statement, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd. Kadir said the opposition is desperate to obtain the people’s support by exploiting the GST’s implementation.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin chided the opposition bloc, saying that PH is unable to come up with better alternatives to replace the GST.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan thinks that there is inconsistency among opposition leaders as they fail to come up with a concrete economic policy.
In her message to The Mole, Nurul Izzah stresses that the opposition intends to ensure the tax system is not regressive and government’s spending is efficient and judicious.
“Zero-rating GST can initially be enacted through the executive action of the Finance Minister, whereas abolishing the system will require a new act of parliament and will further prolong the costs to the people,” she added.
Even so, the PKR vice-president and the opposition coalition continued being criticised over the matter in the social media.
Facebooker Azizul Khilmi Wmc thinks the opposition’s plan is simply impractical.
Clegane Sandor wrote that the coalition’s flip-flop on GST is suspicious. “Why don’t they suggest for it to be abolished? Is it because they will increase the charge some time after they win (in the next general election)?”
Nona ZZabidin agrees. “The opposition should not simply put forward such a promise. How will the opposition-led government pay for everything if GST is abolished?”