A Sarawak opposition MP has challenged Prime Minister Najib Razak to state in Parliament that the govenrment will not increase the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate after the upcoming state election.
Najib, said Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, must also inform Parliament of the specific time frame for the GST rate and not use the issue as an election ploy."Najib yesterday claimed that the government will not increase the GST rates after the Sarawak elections.
"Such statement amount to nothing, as Najib did not make clear how long the 6 percent GST rate will stay - one year, two years, or five years," said Chong in a statement today.
Chong fears the PM will use a win at the Sarawak election as justification to increase the highly criticised GST.
"The important thing is that, with the implementation of GST, if Sarawakians continue to give the BN government its strong support, it will be taken as an endorsement to the GST, giving the BN government a free hand and the boldness to increase the GST to whatever rate it wants.
"If Najib is sincere about not increasing the GST rate, then he should do it in Parliament next week, which will be the last Parliamentary sitting before the Sarawak polls.
"In his announcement, Najib must also make clear the time within which the GST rate will not be increased, (whether) 5 years, 10 years or more," said Chong, who is Sarawak DAP chief and Sentosa assemblyperson.
His call comes amidst an anti-GST rally in Kuala Lumpur today that saw roughly 1,500 march downtown to Dataran Merdeka to protest the consumption tax that many say have contributed to rising cost of living amidst stagnant wages.
Chong also asked the PM to name the alternative source of revenue that Najib had said would compensate the fall in oil prices.
"My question to Najib is: what is his alternative source of revenue?
The two main sources of revenue of the government are natural resources or taxes," said Chong.
He said with our depleting natural resources, the other option would appear to be tax revenue.
"If it is not an increase in GST rates, what other tax does Najib have in his mind?" he asked.
-- malaysiakini 2 april ,2016