KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has made good on its electoral promise to repeal the goods and services tax (GST) without bankrupting the country, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
Lim was responding to his predecessor and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s doomsday prediction that dropping the 6 per cent GST would harm the country’s financial position.
“The new Malaysia Baru government had delivered on our promise to abolish the GST.
“Warnings by the previous government that Malaysia would go bankrupt without the GST did not materialise,” he said in a statement.
He added that the PH administration even went one step better by providing cash aid to the bottom 40 per cent of wage earners nationwide who need it under its renamed and streamlined programme called Bantuan Saraan Hidup (BSH).
The Bagan MP pointed out to Najib that the new administration will even pay out an estimated RM1.6 billion under the BSH programme to 4.1 million people in its targeted group from August 15, a whole week before Hari Raya Korban which is celebrated by Muslims worldwide.
Malaysia’s largest demographic group is Malay and Muslim, many of whom fall within the B40 financial bracket.
Lim further pointed out that the new government under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was helping the B40 group by fixing RON95 grade petrol and diesel prices at RM2.20 and RM2.28 per litre respectively, instead of following the weekly float system undertaken by the Najib administration.
He said the fuel subsidy, to go on till year end, costs the government roughly RM3 billion.
“Najib is therefore wrong to say that the GST is good or that the new government is not focused on assisting the B40 group,” Lim said.
“Najib should not take out his frustrations at BN’s general election defeat to Pakatan and his loss of the Premiership to Tun Dr Mahathir, but concede that the people rejected his leadership, the GST and were fed up of the huge corruption in the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal,” he added.