Price of goods will remain the same for the time being, says Anwar

Anwar Ibrahim is confident the new Cabinet will reduce unnecessary spending and corruption.

PETALING JAYA: The price of goods will not go down immediately even after the goods and services tax (GST) has been zero-rated, said PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar was responding to a question posed to him during an Astro Awani programme, AI, earlier.

“Based on my experience, it is easy for the price of goods to shoot up but it isn’t as easy for it to come down.”

He said to ensure the price of goods actually goes down, the government needs to incease awareness programmes for businessmen.

Anwar praised the current administration led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad which had fulfilled its promise to “remove” the 6% GST, often blamed for increasing the price of goods.

He said since 2015, even before he was imprisoned, he had heard people complaining about the GST being a burden to citizens.

“Even when I was in prison, or the hospital, the staff would often agonise over how they were being heavily burdened by the tax,” he said.

When asked to comment on the new Cabinet lineup, Anwar said it was too early to measure the ministers’ efficiency.

However, he was confident this current lineup would be able to reduce graft.

“The greatest problems that can burden an administration are the habits of splurging and involvement in graft.

“I am confident this Cabinet lineup will be able to defend what Pakatan Harapan has promised to change and reduce wastage and out-of-control spending.”

He said the weakness of the former Barisan Nasional administration regime was that there was huge spending.

When asked to comment on speculation that there were plots to topple the current prime minister, Anwar denied there was a meeting between him and an aide of former prime minister Najib Razak, only known as “Tan Sri”.

“These rumours are nothing but ways to create problems in my relationship with Dr Mahathir.

“There is no such thing. I am very transparent in my activities, including the calls I received from Najib previously and also former deputy prime minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“I stand by my decision to support Dr Mahathir and that has not changed,” he said.