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Thursday, April 10, 2014

GST: Did the government take advice from Qarun?

Harakahdaily - TS, 08 April 2014

Putrajaya may have taken a leaf out of the playbook of international ‘Qarun’ in introducing goods and services tax (GST) to the country, said PAS President Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang.

“Is the country in such desperate situation where it needs GST and other taxes. I am in the opinion that this tax system is from the wrong advice. I am worried this is the advice from international ‘Qarun’. IMF, World Bank and other financial scoundrels including those in Malaysia,” Hadi said when debating on the GST bill yesterday.

Qarun is the Quranic figure who known to be arrogant and spoilt by his enormous wealth. Qarun and his treasures were eventually swallowed by earth when he was showing off his wealth.

Hadi, who is also the Marang MP, questioned whether Putrajaya has managed revenue generated from taxes from Petronas and others properly.

Several BN MPs attempted to interject Hadi when he lashed out at the government for being mired with financial ‘sicknesses’ such as wasteful, lavish spending, leakages, debts and corruption in implementing projects.

“You all have to read the audit report every year. You have to remember that we are not forgetful Malays. There’s no action taken from the report. Those who were caught were low-ranking officers. Those on top and ministers were left off. Where’s the integrity?” Hadi chided in response.

If Putrajaya was prudent in managing its finances, Hadi said GST would be unnecessary for the country.

Pakatan Rakyat MPs had raised anti-GST placards in parliament when the bloc votes were tabulated at the end of the first and second readings of the GST Bill.

Regardless of Pakatan Rakyat MPs’ protest, GST bill was passed yesterday at the Lower House where 118 MPs from BN voted to support the bill against 81 MPs from PR in bloc voting.

Those who had voted for BN during May 2013 general election should remember that they had just lend a supporting vote to GST indirectly through their respective BN MPs they had voted for.

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