KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak expressed regret for not highlighting car prices that went down with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2015, in a veiled swipe at the government today.
Commenting on a minister’s move to highlight five car brands that became cheaper after the Sales and Services Tax (SST) this month, the former finance minister claimed this was not representative of the entire vehicle sector.
“Maybe my mistake was not issuing press statements when the GST was implemented to specifically announce that all car prices went down with the GST, unlike an individual who trumpeted that five car brands became cheaper with the SST.
“Unlike the implementation of the GST, there were cars that rose in price with SST, but this was not mentioned in his statement.”
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Najib’s successor in the role, announced that prices for Perodua, Honda, Toyota, BMW and Volkswagen models fell by as much as RM3,000 on Tuesday.
Lim and Najib have a running battle over the Finance Ministry’s actions, each taking turns to mock the other over their policies.
Prices of cars did fall after the GST, but not universally as Najib asserted; some also rose while others did not budge.
The government repealed the GST in favour of the SST slightly over three months after taking power in the 14th general election.
The GST is credited as among issues that led voters to abandon the Barisan Nasional, consigning the coalition to its only ever defeat in a general election.