KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak said claims by the opposition that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced in Malaysia because of poor governance and problems relating to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) are nothing but lies.
The Prime Minister sad that this was because 160 countries had implemented the GST including advanced nations like England, France, Germany and Canada.
“In fact, Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil producer in the world has also introduced the GST, just like the other countries throughout the world,” he said in his latest posting on his official blog najibrazak.com to counter the opposition’s accusations.
Najib said the accusations were just another attempt by the opposition to win support even though they understood very well the rationale for the introduction of the GST, and in fact they had said many times that they would retain the GST (if they came into power).
The Prime Minister said the nation had depended on oil revenue for the upkeep of the civil service and ensuring basic services were enjoyed by the people.
“However, in 2014, global world oil prices fell drastically, and Malaysia was also affected. The situation caused the nation’s revenue to drop by more than RM40 billion, an amount that would have caused many services having to be stopped,” said Najib.
Realising that depending on an unstable oil industry was not very wise, Najib said the GST was needed for continuity of essential services.
“To this day the quality of life of Malaysians has been safeguarded because of the GST. The fact is there are no popular taxes, no matter how much development and facilities are provided from revenue from taxes,” he said.
He added in the eagerness by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to topple the government, he forced other opposition leaders to lie to the people by promising that the GST would be done away with.
Nonetheless, said Najib, they were all well aware that without alternative sources to replace oil revenue, the nation’s economy would be crippled and the people would suffer.
“However, Dr Mahathir does not care so long as he can bring the government down,” he added.
Najib said he hoped that Malaysians would not be fooled by the opposition’s lies which were solely aimed at drawing support without any sense of responsibility to the nation and people. — Bernama