In The Edge Financial Daily Today 2013
Written by Tarani Palani, fz.com (contributor to theedgemalaysia.com)
Thursday, 24 October 2013 11:00
KUALA LUMPUR: The government cannot guarantee that there will not be further price hike, even after implementing the goods and services tax (GST).
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hasan Malek said the public should not speculate on the matter but rather, pray for the best.
“Let us all pray for the best. There are no guarantees in this world, so for the time-being, we can only pray for the best,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
He said the public should just wait for the 2014 Budget announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Friday.
There has been much speculation on whether the implementation of the GST will be included in the 2014 Budget.
He was responding to Pakatan Rakyat’s call that this was not the time to implement the GST as it will be a further burden on the public.
The opposition MPs have once again said the GST should be put on hold until at least the bulk of the public pay their income tax due.
“It’s not a good time and it is a regressive tax. It is a shortcut to fix the government’s problem, which is fundamentally caused by wastage and corruption,” Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen said at another press conference.
He also said there is further uncertainty on whether the sales and service tax will be abolished, or whether the GST will genuinely be its replacement and there would not be double taxation.
“There is also uncertainty whether the corporate and personal income taxes will be simultaneously reduced,” he added.
PJ Utara MP Tony Pua estimated that the right time to implement GST will be when about 85% of the public pay their income tax.
He also said under Pakatan’s alternative budget, there is no proposal for additional tax except the real property gains tax (RPGT).
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 24, 2013