PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional strategist Eric See-To has heaped scorn on Tony Pua of DAP for claiming that Selangor’s free-water policy had proven that it was possible to abolish the goods and services tax (GST) and not bankrupt the country.
See-To said Pua was being “remarkably simplistic and misleading”.
In a statement today, he listed out “what Pua forgot to tell you”.
He said Pua had not stated that the Selangor state government had been sued for RM4.2 billion in unpaid bills of the Selangor water-treatment company, while the state’s reserves amounted to only RM3.2 billion.
“Does it mean that the Selangor government will indeed go bankrupt if it has to pay out RM4.22 billion?” said See-To, deputy director of BN strategic communications.
He posed the question of whether, as an alternative, Selangor would just let Syabas “go bankrupt” and stop supplying water to all residents of Selangor and the Federal Territory.
See-To said “as long as you don’t pay your bills” it was easy to claim that Selangor had not gone bankrupt yet by providing free water to residents.
He also said that the DAP-led Penang state government had increased spending since 2008 and had fared worse, and that state land and assets worth RM37 billion had been sold or traded away.
See-To’s statement was made in response to a speech at a ceramah in Melaka today by Pua, who is DAP publicity director, and candidate for re-election in Damansara, Selangor.
He had said that abolition of GST, as Pakatan Harapan intends to do if it came to power, would not bankrupt the country. As proof he had pointed to Selangor’s financial standing despite having a free water policy.
Barisan Nasional has said Malaysia would become bankrupt if GST was abolished as Pakatan Harapan intended.
“But Selangor didn’t go bankrupt,” Pua said. “The people of Selangor have enjoyed free water for 10 years, regardless of race, religion or political belief.”
Over the years, the state government’s spending had increased from RM1.2 billion to RM2.8 billion but the state had not gone bankrupt, Pua said.
However, See-To said that Pakatan Harapan’s claims of its ability to eliminate wastage, increase efficiency and be prudent in spending were all false promises which Pakatan could not deliver.
“Is Pakatan telling Malaysians that their example of good governance is to have triple-digit increases in yearly government spending to be funded by either not paying your bills or by selling or trading away all state land and assets?” he said.
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