KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today described the Opposition’s claim that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced to due to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), as a way to gain support.
He said that despite knowing the real reason behind the implementation of the GST and repeatedly stating it would be retained, they were still using it to attack the government.
“All this while the country’s income has been dependent on profits from oil to sustain basic public services for the rakyat.
“However, in 2014, global oil market prices dipped and Malaysia was affected. This saw a reduction of more than RM40 billion in the country’s revenue, a figure that would surely see the discontinuation of many services,” Najib said in a statement on his website today.
He explained that realising that it was no longer to stable to rely on the oil industry, GST was needed to continuously sustain basic needs and services.
“Until today the rakyat’s quality of life is safeguarded because of GST but the fact still remains that there is no such thing as a popular tax regardless of its contributions to development and amenities,” he added.
He said it was a lie to say that the GST was a product of poor governance as 160 other countries also implemented the GST such as England, France, Germany and Canada, as well as Saudi Arabia.
“However Mahathir’s fixation to topple the government has seen him forcing leaders from the Opposition to promise the abolition of the GST despite knowing that without income from oil, our country’s economy will suffer which will in turn also affect the rakyat,” he said referring to former Premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Najib expressed hopes that the rakyat would be able to see through Mahathir’s tactics to gain support without any sense of responsibility to the country and society. – MO