It is natural nobody likes GST but today it is the saving straw of the national economy. To abolish GST, one must have a perfect and sound financial plan instead of shouting loudly at the side-line for fun just for the general election.
At present our national economy has not yet reached the stage of collapse but it is critical. Many government subsidies including petrol were already withdrawn. The root cause is neither due to buying diamond rings by the first lady nor Jho Low, the fugitive who bought a luxurious yacht. The main cause is due to racial special rights and concessions which resulted in low productivity and cronyism. It is also due to corruption and non-accountability in high administrative expenses.
This was mentioned before and now it is repeated. Special rights cause segregation and segregation means no transparency which will later generate corruption. If no political party is brave enough to focus in such sensitive issue, no matter how many times the government change, it is also impossible that “No corruption, money can be saved”; the slogan is only shouting for fun and childish.
For instance, our civil service system is so bloated because our graduates are the products of special rights who are not competitive. It is a sensitive and hand burning issue until the parties from both political divide dare not touch on it. This is one of the main reasons why our administrative expenditure is higher than the development expenditure.
Unjust policies and cronyism created a big hole in our treasury and GST is used to seal the big hole. Anybody who wants to abolish GST must be able to propose a detailed and sound financial bill to offset the RM42bil collections from GST as a new means of finding revenue. Can anybody offer a better alternative?
GST is a fairer tax system especially to the Chinese community. Those days the 23% Chinese population in the country had contributed 80% of the taxes collected. The Malays paid less tax because they chose to pay zakat which is a religious tax. GST is not racial bias and is fair to all. Nobody can escape from taxation.
Unscrupulous businessmen took the opportunity to increase prices
The unscrupulous businessmen take the opportunity to jack up the prices of goods. Mahathir wants to reintroduce the sales and service tax (SST) which affects only the business fraternity and indirectly favours the Malays clearly. The problem now is the businessmen would transfer the cost to the consumers!
Introducing GST is not a mistake. The mistake was the government did not enforce proper measures to regulate the businessmen when GST was implemented initially. These unscrupulous businessmen take the opportunity to raise prices and they also join the public to accuse the government for the price increase by masquerading themselves as victims too. They will never reveal to you that their GST paid will be refunded to them later.
The two main causes of our present inflation are: Removal of government subsidies and the devaluation of our Ringgit.
It started from the Mahathir’s era, where political cronyism and the business fraternity conspired together which became a bloodsucking virus draining our treasury reserves all these years. When our population increased and with the oil price dropping, our Treasury’s revenue is further reduced and all of us have to face the unpleasant consequences.
Najib has taken some good measures like selling off our national car, implemented GST and nationalized all the toll collections. However, these are only temporary measures to stop the bleeding unless the people are willing to change that is to remove the special rights, remove cronyism, implements meritocracy or else it will never solve the main problem.
Thus, Pakatan Harapan should focus on economic transformations, reduce the damage caused by special rights and rejuvenate the agricultural industries which are long term assets.
Pacifying the ignorant people and being a populist by “abolishing GST” is only a short sighted and opportunistic measure. It is akin to drinking poisoned water to quench your thirst. GST is a progressive tax system and there are no countries in the world which abolish GST after implementing it. If Pakatan Harapan has no far sighted measure in managing the country, please don’t blame us for casting spoilt votes.