KUCHING, Nov 21: The government has to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and those who say they want to get rid of GST are deploying fantasy economics, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“Those in the opposition who say they want to get rid of GST are deceiving the people and deploying fantasy economics.
“In the 21st century, governments and countries cannot just stand still and carry on doing things the old way,” said Najib, who emphasised that responsible governments must change policies as circumstances change for the wellbeing of the people.
He stressed that GST was much needed to widen the tax base, which is one reason why over 160 countries around the world have implemented some form of GST, and GST had saved the country with the plunge of oil prices.
“If we do not adjust our policies, our nation loses its competitive edge and gets overtaken by other countries. We cannot, and must not allow that,” he said when officiating at the 13th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.
He pointed out that if Malaysia was to achieve its goal of becoming a high-income status nation by 2020, the government had to make changes.
“Sometimes that will mean instigating it, as you could say that Malaysia did, when we introduced GST.
“It would have been easier not to do so, as what appears to be a new tax — even though it simply replaced an old one — can seem to be a disruption.”
He said he foresaw that the introduction of GST would not have been a popular one among the people but it would have been irresponsible not to have brought in GST. — DayakDaily