PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak again championed bringing back the goods and services tax (GST) in place of the sales and services tax (SST), particularly in the current global economic situation.
He said the nation needed comprehensive plans for the national economy, aside from economic stimulus packages, adding that populist policies would not benefit the people in the long run.
In an online interview with The Outlook Asia, Najib stressed that the people needed to first understand the benefits of GST and why it is necessary.
“When the government introduces a policy, we must first explain it to the people. If not, the people might suddenly be angry with the government.
“In a democratic parliamentary system, we need the people’s support, and the people must be guided and educated (about the policy). Hopefully, people will accept that we need to replace SST with GST.”
He highlighted that other nations were taking similar measures, citing Saudi Arabia which recently increased its GST rate from 5% to 15%.
He said the people needed to shift their focus from populist policies, highlighting that Pakatan Harapan had a “populist policy mindset”, which caused them to reject good Barisan Nasional policies.
“They said that GST, which is actually good, was not good.
“They caused the people to be afraid that it would burden them when GST can actually stabilise the nation’s finances, and decrease the nation’s deficit and debts.
“That’s what I call populist policies aimed at merely winning elections, but detrimental to the people in the end.”
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