No GST, SST to stay

(The Sun Daily) – The Sales and Services Tax (SST) will stay, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government would “tweak it if necessary to improve it”.

He ruled out the possibility of dropping SST for the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

When it was pointed out to him that he had stated last week that the government would take another look at GST, he said he was “merely replying a question from the media”.

“We will continue with SST and we will tweak it if necessary to improve it. We are not going to drop SST for GST,” he said after attending the final day of a retreat for Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs.

He noted that many “so-called” pollsters had predicted that PH would lose in the last general election on May 9, 2018 “but the opposite occurred”.

Mahathir said the claim (that the government was reconsidering GST) made the Opposition very happy even though the government would not drop SST.

He also hit out at Merdeka Centre for claiming that PH had lost the people’s support.

A report that was presented to PH MPs alleged that support for the coalition had dropped from 87% to 35%.

“This is not true. They took the views of a small number of people and presented it as the view of the whole nation,” Mahathir said.

“I don’t know where these people got the figure but (I know) support for PH is still strong. The government is not going to fall.”

He said wherever PH leaders went, people were eager to shake their hand and to take photographs with them. This showed the people still supported the coalition, he added.

Mahathir said the retreat was to enable the leaders to explain government policies to the MPs.

He said this would give them a better understanding of how the government operates.

Mahathir said that the MPs were allowed to criticise government policies and the leaders accepted the criticisms as it may help improve policies.

He said the meeting has helped strengthen ties between PH leaders and MPs.

Mahathir said a major problem was that many people did not read the manifesto carefully and things that were not in it had become part of it.

“For instance, we never directly promised to abolish toll but it had become part of the manifesto and people expect us to keep to the promise.”

He said the PH government had fulfilled at least 60% of the pledges in the manifesto.