0% GST if Pakatan takes over Putrajaya, says Guan Eng

lim-guan-eng_gst_600GEORGE TOWN: The people will not be burdened with the GST any more if Pakatan Harapan defeats the Barisan Nasional in the next general election, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today.

He said this in response to reports quoting PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar as saying that the GST would remain under a Pakatan government.

Her comments had prompted BN strategic communications director Abdul Rahman Dahlan to hit back at the federal opposition coalition.

Lim reiterated that Pakatan Harapan had unanimously agreed to get rid of the GST if they were to form a new government.

“I have said this many times. We are going zero-rated. Even Nurul had explained we are going zero-rated once we take over.

“I don’t know why BN does not understand ‘ilmu hisab’ (mathematics). Don’t tell me they do not know what zero means? Zero means nought, ‘kosong’, ‘ling su’ and ‘suzhiyam,’” Lim said at a press conference in Komtar today, giving the words for “zero” in Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and Tamil.

What zero-rated GST essentially means is that the public does not pay any tax on the goods or services. There is also no embedded tax on the final price resulting from any taxes businesses and manufacturers have paid.

This is because businesses and manufacturers can reclaim any GST paid on the assets, purchases or expenses for their businesses, from the government as input tax credit.

Lim explained that since the current GST system had already been implemented and businesses had spent a lot to implement the taxation system, it would be best to set the GST at “zero”, instead of the current 6%.

“Abolishing the GST is the same as switching the GST to zero-rated,” he said.

Recently, Rahman, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said the opposition appeared to be “confused” about the GST implementation, due to conflicting statements on the matter.

“There are so many signs from the opposition until Malaysians are confused with what they say.

“For a while, they want to abolish it, and later they want to zero-rate it. Clearly, the opposition does not have a concrete economic policy,” Rahman was quoted as saying in a Bernama report recently.

Over the weekend, Nurul was reported to have said at a ceramah that the GST “will not continue with the current percentage”.

Yesterday, Nurul clarified that she had merely said Pakatan Harapan would do away with the GST by zero-rating everything.

She had also said the GST collected was used to bail-out 1MDB, as the GST revenue of RM39 billion was “uncannily” the same amount lost by the state investment firm.