We Need ‘Painful’ Economic Reforms, Not GST

Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad 
The PM has finally taken heed of our critique on the GST. Or has he really? That’s how it seems for now. But you really couldn’t tell from this move as to why he defers the second reading of the the BIll on GST. It could have been done to evade that ugly demonstration of the Pakatan’s MPs and the NGOs that would have otherwise marred the opening of the new parliamentary session by the Agung.

This writer ( a member of the Ant-GST Task Force) however would like to believe that the PM has finally taken heed of all the critiques, not the least or perhaps most seriously from the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM). The cost to both the government and businesses is monstrous.Australia paid A$4.8bilion when it implemented the GST 10 years ago.

The BN’s government is now saying that they would like to listen more extensively from the people, the rakyat. Strange. Not after all these debates after the first reading in the parliament and especially if one considers that this is second attempt at tabling this new taxation system (after 2002), which is a onerous, massive and pervasive one! So they are now saying that they have forgotten to engage the rakyat. Didn’t they want to even seek the rakyat’s perception and take on the GST earlier?. Only after the Pakatan’s Anti-GST Task Force took on the offensive and later on joined by the NGOs, did the BN government realise that the GST is after all not well received and perhaps vehemently opposed save by the greatest beneficiary, the tax accountants, not all though.