PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak today hit back at Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng who called him a hypocrite for complaining about the sales and services tax (SST) levy on “pau” (bun) but was silent when it was previously subjected to the goods and services tax (GST).
Lim had ticked off Najib for complaining about a 6% SST he had to pay on “kaya pau” and drinks he bought at a shop in Tanjung Malim, Perak, recently.
Najib, in a Facebook posting today, questioned the need to change the taxation mechanism since prices of goods did not go down after the GST was abolished.
“Guan Eng got angry yesterday and said I was dishonest. He said ‘pau’ was also subjected to GST, much the same as the 6% SST now.
“My question to Guan Eng is this: did he not say several times that the SST was only imposed on manufacturers and not consumers?
“I am not a manufacturer, so why am I being taxed 6%?” he asked.
The Pekan MP said that with GST, traders who evaded tax and the black economy could not run away from taxes.
He pointed out that the amount of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) continued going up and there were increases in other aids as well as the salaries and bonuses of civil servants.
“With SST, BR1M has been reduced to the point of being scrapped, other forms of financial assistance have been blocked, and the salaries and bonuses of civil servants have not been raised or cancelled,” he said.
Najib said that if the finance minister were to check the receipt from the “pau” shop, drinks were also subjected to 6% tax.
“I drank iced lemon tea there. According to the latest SST schedule, the sales tax on iced lemon tea is 10%. This means that, when the shop purchased the beverage from the manufacturer, the 10% tax is already hidden in the price.
“On top of the 6% tax imposed by the shop, I am paying a 10+6% tax, which is higher than the 6% GST,” he added.