SST bills passed out of ‘respect’ for the people, says BN senator

Khairul Azwan Harun says any objection in the Senate would have been in vain.

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional (BN) senators in Dewan Negara allowed the Sales Tax Bill 2018 and the Service Tax Bill 2018 to be passed today as they respected the mandate given by the people to the Pakatan Harapan government, said a senator.

Khairul Azwan Harun said there was no issue of sabotaging the bills as the matter would not benefit anybody and would only disrupt the government in collecting revenue for the country.

“We do not want to delay the matter as we know the government needs the money for the national agenda involving the people.

“Based on this, we saw BN senators allowing the bills to be passed as we respect the people,” he said at the Parliament lobby today.

The Sales Tax Bill 2018 and the Service Tax Bill 2018 were passed by the Senate without amendments after the third reading.

Earlier, there were concerns that BN senators may block the bills from being passed by Dewan Negara.

Meanwhile, Khairul Azwan said opposing the bills would have been in vain as they would still be gazetted despite objections at the Senate.

According to Article 68 of the Federal Constitution, if a bill is not passed at the Senate, it could be brought to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and would receive the royal assent without further debates.

“We, the opposition know for a fact that without the support of the Senate, the government could still proceed with the matter,” he said.

Meanwhile Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa said BN would not use its majority power in the Senate to thwart the efforts of the Pakatan Harapan government to implement the sales and services tax (SST) starting Sept 1.

He said although some parties wanted to use their majority power to burden the government,BN had no intention to do so.

He said otherwise there would be an impasse and the government would experience a delay in collecting taxes.