KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — The federal government return 50 per cent of the goods and services tax (GST) contribution by each state for their respective, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
The DAP leader of the Pakatan Harapan-led state government asserted that the GST is a great burden to the public and said returning half of what each state contributed to federal coffers would only be fair.
“The 50 per cent repayment to each state makes sense because in Australia, 100 per cent of the GST collected per state is returned to each state.
“If the federal government wants to behave in a fair manner to all states, it should return 50 per cent of the GST collected from the states,” he said in a statement.
Lim said that from 2015 when the consumption was introduced till October this year, Penang has collected RM5.56 billion in total but claimed its citizens have yet to see a single sen used for their benefit by the federal government, especially after the state was devastated by one of the biggest floods in its history last month.
“Out of the RM235 million disbursed to flood victims throughout Malaysia from 2013 to 2017, Penang received the smallest amount, only RM35,500 or 0.015 per cent. The tiny amount of 0.015 per cent is an insult to the people of Penang and is discriminatory.
“It is time the federal government act in a fair manner towards Penang as well as other states and return their public (GST) contributions,” he said.
He also highlighted an undated written parliamentary reply from Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on GST collected in Penang since its rollout till two months ago, which listed the totals as RM1.4 billion in 2015, RM2.3 billion in 2016 and RM1.8 billion as at October 2017.
Lim has been persistently calling on the federal government to disburse cash aid to Penang residents in the aftermath of the November 4 and 5 floods that swept nearly 80 per cent of the island state and killed seven people.