KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) has today objected to Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri's proposal to reimplement the goods and services tax (GST), which was heavily opposed by the public during its previous introduction.

The opposition coalition said the reintroduction of GST will result in the price of goods rising sharply and putting tremendous pressure on the public if exacerbated by supply chain problems and stagnant wages.

"There is no point in collecting more taxes if eventually the people's money is wasted due to corruption, leakage, and cronyism," it said in a statement.

The statement was released jointly by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, his Parti Amanah Negara counterpart Mohamad Sabu, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke and Upko president Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau in response to the prime minister's interview with Japan-based Nikkei Asia, where he indicated the reimplementation of GST to weather the country's financial turbulence.

"In a situation of rising inflation, the people are particularly affected by the rising cost of living as well as declining household incomes as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic," they added.

The pact said with the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal still dominating international headlines, Malaysia is currently ranked second in The Economist's Crony-Capitalism Index and 62nd in the anti-corruption organisation Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index.

PH added that the prime minister should keep in mind that the majority of Malaysians rejected the GST in the 2018 election, and should not reintroduce the GST tax as long as corruption and cronyism continue to stain the country.

Malaysia's controversial 6 per cent goods and services tax (GST) was introduced in 2016 by the Najib administration but replaced with the sales and services tax the Pakatan Harapan coalition took federal power after winning Election 2018.

Nikkei Asia reported that Malaysia's central bank is supportive of the move to reintroduce the GST as it will heavily relieve the government's financial burden.