KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s willingness to reconsider reviving the controversial good and services tax (GST) abolished last year is laudable,
MCA Youth chief Nicole Wong Siaw Ting said today.
But the Opposition politician added that if the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) does bring back the consumption tax, it should not be a “carbon copy” of the policy introduced by the Barisan Nasional (BN) in 2015, nor should the tax rate be set at 6 per cent.
“The geopolitical scene has since evolved and our people are now facing different circumstances.
“There is a need for PH to do more homework and study how to best safeguard the interest of low income groups and fine-tune the system,” she said in a statement.
Wong proposed a new GST rate of no higher than 3 per cent, and added that it would be a “step forward” for Malaysia.
She said the GST is a fairer and more transparent system to all levels of society than the sales and services tax (SST) introduced in September 2018 to replace the BN initiative.
She also pointed out that many other countries practise similar forms of GST, and that many economic experts have predicted that Malaysia will suffer a larger deficit in next year’s budget at its current pace.
“The Prime Minister must administer the right remedy to our present conundrum, else Malaysians would have a hard time seeing the light of tomorrow,” Wong said.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told reporters yesterday that his government will study the GST to see if it should be returned, after a local economist claimed the 6 per cent consumption tax would help increase revenue and keep the government afloat more than the SST.
Umno and PAS criticised the move, the former accusing the PH government of deceiving voters about abolishing GST with the latter Islamist party insisting introducing heftier corporate and capital gains taxes that will draw more money from the rich to support the poor to be the better option.