Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 27.9.2016.
BN continues to use lies to demonise the opposition and whitewash their abuse of power and corruption scandals especially 1MDB and the RM4.2 billion donation scandal. However, their lies can not cover up the reality on the ground that the Malaysian economy is in trouble, hurting ordinary Malaysians.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak must admit the failure of his economic policy by abolishing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) when the 2017 Budget is presented to Parliament next month, so as to revive economic growth and put money back into the pockets of wage earners. The economic situation has gone from bad to worse with some businesses complaining that they have not had a single profitable month for the 9 months of this year and wage earners not having enough money to make ends meet.
The BN Federal government is still in denial and continues to behave like an ostrich putting their head in the sands, by claiming that the economy is performing well with 4% economic growth in the 2nd quarter of 2016. However it is clear that the 4% economic growth does not benefit businesses and ordinary Malaysians when GST collection has dropped by 30% in the 2nd quarter.
Many economists were surprised that despite the 4% economic growth in the 2nd quarter, GST declined by 30% or RM3.1 billion from RM10.2 billion in the first quarter of 2016 to RM7.1 billion in the 2nd quarter. GST is the cause of our economic problems. The RM 3.1 billion drop(30%) in GST collection for the 2nd quarter of 2016 proves that the GST had resulted in the rakyat facing poorer business and less income, until the 4% economic growth in the 2nd quarter has no positive benefit to the people.
What is alarming is that the Customs Department remains confident of achieving the RM39 billion GST revenue target this year. Clearly the Federal government will face a shortfall in the expected revenue of RM39 billion as they have only collected RM17.2 billion from GST for the first half of this year, way below the targeted yearly revenue of RM39 billion. The Malaysian government is already facing a revenue shortfall of RM16 billion this year because Petronas will only be paying RM16 billion to the government, half of the amount contributed last year before the drop in global oil prices.
The Federal government should not try to cover the GST revenue shortfall by victimising businessmen in the form of tax investigations to squeeze more money for the BN Federal government. Many businessmen have complained of unreasonable demands and double-standards of the Internal Revenue Service(IRS), when the IRS failed to do the same on BN politicians receiving huge donations.
Worse, GST is also imposed on state governments and local government carrying out public works projects such as roads, drains and community halls even though it is not for profit but for the public benefit of the rakyat. This unnecessary cost has only imposed a greater burden on the state and local governments. For example, the Penang state and local governments as well as state agencies have to pay RM48 million yearly in GST to the Federal government.
Since the BN Federal government likes to sing the praises of GST because it is inplemented by many developed countries, then the BN Federal government should emulate their example of distributing the GST collected back to the states. For example, in Australia any GST collected in a state is fully returned back to the state. Here in Malaysia, state governments not only do not get a single cent of GST collected but have to pay GST.
There is no need to implement the GST if the Federal government takes firm and decisive action against corruption. The Federal government ran out of money because of corruption scandals such as 1MDB and the RM4.2 billion donation scandal. If firm action is taken against corruption, not only can BR1M payments to the poor continue but the economy can be revived by abolishing the failed economic policy of implementing GST.
LIM GUAN ENG