KUALA LUMPUR: The finance ministry says the increase in the price of goods that has contributed to a spike in the cost of living is not due solely to taxes like the GST.
Deputy Finance Minister Othman Aziz said other contributing factors included foreign exchange rates, transport costs, fuel prices as well as marketing channels.
“We cannot say prices have shot up just because of the GST,” Othman said in response to an additional question in the Dewan Rakyat today.
The Jerlun MP said the government had cushioned the impact from the increase in the price of goods with BR1M (1Malaysia People’s Aid) handouts as well as compensation to farmers and fishermen.
He added that he was not present in the Dewan Rakyat when a former deputy finance minister gave his assurance that the prices of goods would drop once the GST was implemented.
Othman was referring to Anthony Loke (DAP-Seremban), who cited Ahmad Maslan as saying in 2015 that the GST would help reduce the prices of goods.
Loke had also asked if price comparisons had been carried out to convince the rakyat that the consumption tax worked.
“Malaysians are facing a hike in the cost of living because of the GST, and it’s nothing like what the former deputy minister (Ahmad Maslan) had said.
“Voters are also aware that if they vote for Barisan Nasional, they will continue to pay the GST,” Loke said.