Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng And MP For Bagan In Kuala Lumpur on 7.1.2013.
DAP calls on the BN Federal government to be serious about its Economic Transformation Programme’s goal to generate human capital formation following its flip flop in the RM200 smartphone rebate scheme costing RM300 million and double-standards in implementing the 15% flat tax rate under the Returning Experts Programme(REP) but not enjoyed by local experts with similar skill-sets. The RM 200 smartphone rebate can only achieve its purpose of increasing mobile internet usage amongst the young if it is accompanied by the provision of free wifi services in all public places throughout Malaysia whether in cities or towns, in villages or estates.
The Prime Minister announcement in last year’s Budget in September, that Malaysians between 21 and 30 who earned under RM3,000 a month could get a rebate of RM200 on handphones for smartphones costing less than RM500, did not fully fulfil its objective of helping the young who can not afford to buy a smartphone. The BN Federal government was forced to flip-flop and remove the RM500 price cap to ensure that it will not deprive lower-income youths of this privilege.
Worse is the double-standard in discriminating local experts who chose to remain in Malaysia rather than seek greener pastures overseas. The objective of the REP was to encourage Malaysian experts working overseas to return to work in Malaysia with various incentives including a 15% flat income tax rate for 5 years. The important question raised is why local experts working in Malaysia are not accorded similar recognition for their commitment to their country.
This echoes the same double-standards by the BN-controlled media of forgiving a Minister who was a permanent resident of Australia as a loyal citizen whilst labelling those opposing BN as traitors even though they had never applied for a Permanent Resident whether in Australia or any other country in the world.
The same double-standard applies for experts and professionals working in Iskandar Development Region in Johor, who also enjoys the 15% flat income tax rate. Justice, fair play and a level playing field demands that this 15% flat income tax rate be applied equally on all experts and professionals throughout Malaysia. We cannot have “one country two tax systems” which will make a mockery of the concept of 1Malaysia!
DAP urges BN to apply the benefit of the 15% flat income tax rate on the Iskandar region and the REP on local experts. As a first step, the list of professions or expertise that is qualified under the REP should be spelled out and the flat 15% income tax rate should be enjoyed by those experts and professionals who have all along been working in Malaysia.
Should BN refuse to do so, PR will implement this fair measure when PR wins Putrajaya to attract and retain human talent by adopting a flat 15% personal income tax for all experts whether returning to or already in Malaysia and build future human capital with free wifi services in public places throughout Malaysia to increase mobile internet usage and broadband penetration amongst the young.
Lim Guan Eng
—-Mandarin Version —