MP CHIDES SUPP KUCHING FOR PETITION ON EXEMPTION OF GST
KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen has ridiculed SUPP Kuching’s campaign to gather 500,000 signatures to request exemption of Goods and Services Tax (GST) for Sarawak.
The Kota Sentosa assemblyman and state DAP chairman said the SUPP branch ought to make a clear stand whether action should be taken against it very MP who had voted in favour of GST, before going around asking people for their signatures.
“I was shocked when I read the papers today (yesterday) that SUPP Kuching is launching a signature campaign to request for exemption of GST for Sarawak. I think before they even ask people to sign, they should check the parliamentary record as I am certain their MP Richard Riot, who is also a minister in the federal cabinet, agreed and voted for GST.
“The GST Bill was passed in 2013 after the general election. All the opposition MPs were against it, but BN (Barisan Nasional) MPs including Sarawakian MPs all voted for it. Had the MPs from Sarawak voted against GST Bill, it would not be passed because they would not have gotten more than 51 per cent of the lower house.
“Now that SUPP wants to launch a full campaign on this, the first thing they should do is to take action against Richard Riot as well as Senator Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian for voting for GST. We do not want a scenario whereby your MP and Senator supported the Bill in Parliament when you try to be hero outside,” he told reporters outside Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petra Jaya here yesterday.
Chong described the move to gather signatures as ‘ridiculous’ and said SUPP Kuching was trying to fool the people on the matter.
“It is a very laughable move on their part. Outside, you say you’re against it, but your MP in Parliament voted for it, supported it. This is what we call political cheat.”
He also wondered whether the branch had received blessings from its partners in Sarawak BN.
“Ask them to make a stand first before getting signatures,” he said, adding there was no point in collecting signatures if after that, Sarawak BN ordered the branch or the party not to go against the policy.
Chong pointed out that SUPP Kuching was bound by its party and BN discipline and it should therefore, put its house in order before anything else.
“There is no question about the people against GST, and the people of Kuching have spoken through DAP — we oppose. That is already very clear. What are you (SUPP Kuching) trying to do? Sandiwara! (Theatrical drama).”
At a press conference on Sunday, chairperson Datuk Lily Yong said SUPP Kuching would launch a signature campaign today to collect as many as 500,000 signatures to push for GST exemption for Sarawak.
She said ‘everybody is suffering’ since the implementation of GST in April this year, based on the feedback the branch had gathered, which had also prompted her to assert: “Sarawak is not ready for GST.”