GST flip-flop: It’s a desperate move, says Anwar

By Rahmah Ghazali, Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today questioned the timing of the postponement of the unpopular Goods and Services Tax (GST), saying it is a “desperate” move by the Najib administration to win the upcoming general election.

Speaking to reporters at Parliament House today, he did not rule out the possibility that snap polls will be called soon.

“This (postponement) is related to concerns over the by-elections in Galas and Batu Sapi and the possibility of a general election,” he said.

He added that GST may make a comeback once the Barisan Nasional returns to power.

“This is one of the government’s flip-flop policies…,” he said.

Yesterday, the government deferred the implementation of the GST, fuelling speculations that a snap general election is around the corner.

Not well-crafted

The Finance Ministry said in a statement that the GST was postponed to enable the government to engage all segments of the people on the imposition of the tax.

It also said the government would take into account the interests and welfare of the people to ensure that the enforcement was well received.

But Anwar is not optimistic, saying that the government was “scared” to implement the GST “that would burden the people”.