Ex-Minister in the Prime Minister’s department and current PNB chief, Tan Sri Wahid Omar gave Malaysians 3 unpleasant choices in lieu of scrapping the GST.
He raised the sceptre that without the GST, the Government’s credit rating could fall to BBB from its current A3/A level.
Of course, the key point which he misses is that abolishing the GST is not done as isolated policy move. It is proposed and will be inacted by a Pakatan Harapan Government, which also involves a total reform in Government spending and an elimination of waste and corruption.
Removing the GST is also not without its counter prevailing measures to increase Government revenue and thus improve the fiscal balance.
Take for example Government land sales. In 2017, the Hong Kong government recorded more than HKD101 billion (RM 50.5 billion) of revenue through open tender sale of Government land. Under the Najib administration, the Government sells public land to 1MDB at artificially low prices and then claims that it does not have money and requires GST to be imposed on the people.
And don’t get me started on the rest of the land belonging to the Armed Forces. No one has yet to refute Tan Sri Rafidah’s allegation. How many billions is that which could flowed into Government coffers thus doing away with the GST!
If a new transparent Government is in place, these billions will flow into Government coffers, reducing a need to tax the people.
The second aspect has to do with what the Government spends on and how accountable they are with the money. Take for example expenditure by the Prime Minister’s Department. For 2018, a total of RM 17.5 billion has been earmarked for the PM’s department with a whopping RM 3.3 billion allocated to Dana Fasilitasi.
The DAP has done an excellent job in analysing the waste in the Government expenditure over here (https://dapmalaysia.org/statements/2017/10/30/26001).
It has never been answered comprehensively and only covers the last 2 years.
Thirdly, if the Government is serious in actually balancing the budget and maintaining its credit rating, why not start by collecting on the bad debts like the RM 200m owed by NFC?
The joke is that BN’s thinking is that the rakyat are fools. All I can say is when you collect RM 43 billion a year from the public, you better deliver rather than give excuses.
I think the opportunities to actually improve the economy for the well being of the common rakyat can only be achieved by a Pakatan Harapan Government. The common man feels that he is now poorer than he was 5 years ago due to the diminished spending power brought about by the rise in prices, caused in part by the GST and the weakening Ringgit.
Thus, the message the good Tan Sri has penned to pour cold water on Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto is ‘academic.’
PH will not only eliminate the GST, we will improve the fiscal position through prudent spending, diversify Goverent income sources, reduce the debt through Kleptocracy Recovery Asset Initiatives (‘KARI’) and strengthen the Ringgit all at the same time.