Good taxes can spur Malaysia’s economic growth, says Stiglitz

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz (right) and Yilmaz Akyuz (left), a former Geneva-based South Centre chief economist, called on Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Perdana Putra in Putrajaya.

PUTRAJAYA: There are many kinds of good taxes that could be introduced to stimulate Malaysia’s economy in order to create a fair society as it tackles its RM1 trillion debt, said Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.

He said these included inheritance tax, capital gains tax and property tax for large holding properties, which were actually good for the economy and society.

“Also I think carbon tax is a very good tax because it encourages the growth of green economy and can move the country towards a more innovative and green society,” he told Bernama.

Earlier Stiglitz, a former World Bank chief economist, and Yilmaz Akyuz, a former Geneva-based South Centre chief economist, called on Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Perdana Putra here.

The two prominent economists were here to attend the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2018 in the capital.

Commenting on the meeting with Mahathir which lasted nearly one hour, Stiglitz said it touched on major economic issues confronting Malaysia and the world, as well as the potential for global stability.

“We also talked about management of debt that Malaysia unfortunately inherited (from the previous government),” he said while stressing the importance of government transparency.

Asked whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement should be ratified, Stiglitz said: “I think it is a mistake for Malaysia to ratify the agreement. The agreement was designed to benefit the United States more than Malaysia and other countries.

“The benefit for Malaysia was smaller, and now with the US out (of the TPP), the benefits are even smaller, where the costs, particularly with investor-state dispute settlements and intellectual property, are very high,” he added.