Date of publication: Oct 31, 2013
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 004
KUALA LUMPUR: The opposition yesterday made a U-turn and admitted the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that will replace the Sales and Services Tax can be a major contributor to the national economic growth.
Its de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim acknowledged that GST was an efficient taxation system.
He also admitted that he had agreed to its implementation when he was the finance minister in 1998.
However, Anwar said he did not agree to implement it immediately due to certain reasons then.
"I still say that it should not be implemented until pre-conditions are met," he said at a GST and 2014 Budget briefing in Parliament.
Anwar said before the GST was implemented, people's pay must first increase and the taxation infrastructure must be improved.
PKR deputy president Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) also lauded the GST and acknowledged it was a comprehensive tax system to encourage the people to increase their savings.
Azmin, during the morning debate session at the lower house, seemed to make an about-turn statement when he claimed the opposition never rejected the GST.
However, he said it was still not the right time for the government to introduce the system in 2015.
"I cannot deny that the GST is a good tax system as it is very transparent and efficient.
"However, the government still needs to reconsider its implementation as the current minimum national household income is still lower than RM3,000," he said during a debate on the Supply Bill 2014.