STAR: Meaningless to seek people’s view on GST as no one wants tax

Lina Soo

KUCHING, Oct 4: State Reform Party (STAR) finds it hilarious for Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders to say that the government will bring back the Goods and Services Tax (GST) if “that is what people want”.

The main contention of STAR president Lina Soo was that no one wants to be taxed.

“To quote (Prime Minister Tun) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) that the government will bring back GST ‘if that is what the people want’ is so funny. No people in any country ever ask their government to tax them,” she said in a press statement today.

She said now that Dr Mahathir openly admitted GST is a better tax system than the current Sales and Services Tax (SST), this led her to question his ability to govern the country’s economy.

“Dr Mahathir now says GST is better than SST. Does he know how to govern the economy now that he admits he is wrong on tax policy? Is the federal government now rethinking that they are wrong on so many other policies?”

After taking swipe at Dr Mahathir, Soo went on to lambast Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“Same also for the Finance Minister who also says GST will be reinstated ‘if people want it’. I challenge the Finance Minister to name me one country in the world where the people tell their Finance Minister they want to pay consumption tax (GST).”

She said the U-turn of replacing SST with GST showed the incapability of Lim to manage the country’s finance.

“This U-turn by the PH government shows that the Finance Minister is inexperienced and incompetent to manage the country’s finances as prices have gone up, jobs have gone down, stock market has gone down,” she claimed.

“Yet, he can pull out statistics that don’t reflect the reality on the ground, like the magician pulls a rabbit out of the hat. When is he going to come to Sarawak to sing the ‘Abcdgst Bankrupt’ song?” Soo asked.

Prior to 14th general election, DAP came out with the “Abcdgst Bankrupt” song to mock GST that was put in place by the previous Barisan Nasional government.

Soo thus called on Malaysians to “tighten their belts” further as rather than improving the country’s economy, she predicted the present government will only incur more debt.

“I advise the rakyat of Malaysia to tighten their belts further as the government’s failure to improve the economy has resulted in only more debt and suffering for the people,” she opined.

Soo also criticised Sarawak Pakatan chairman Chong Chieng Jen, describing the Stampin MP as only “talking through his nose”.

“If people are paying less tax now, why are we paying higher prices for goods and services?” she said.

She claimed that the reason government collected less tax is because SST is not transparent, tracking is inefficient and reporting can be manipulated.

“Because it is not transparent, there will be leakages. GST is transparent because tax is collected directly at point of sale from the consumer and reporting is done.

“That is why most countries implement consumption tax, like GST and VAT where you pay tax as you consume, in other words, the more you consume the more tax you pay,” she alleged.

Yesterday, Dr Mahathir said the government was wiling to study calls to re-introduce the GST if this was what the people wanted.

Removing GST was one of PH’s manifesto and signature campaign promised during GE14. It was abolished by Pakatan in June last year, after taking over the federal government on May 9, 2018.

On Sept 1, 2018, the PH-led federal government introduced SST to replace GST. — DayakDaily