Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad ‘Flip-Flopped’ on his opposition against BR1M, an initiative introduced by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak as direct subsistence for the B40 five years ago, during the launch of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia tonight.
The Malay Mail Online:
Dr M says would abolish GST, make BR1M statutory
BY IDA LIM
Saturday January 14, 2017
11:05 PM GMT+8
SHAH ALAM, Jan 14 — The federal opposition will gradually repeal the controversial Goods and Services Tax (GST) if it is elected into power, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
Although previously calling the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) “bribery”, the former prime minister and chairman of Parti Pribumi Malaysia also said a Pakatan Harapan government would convert the cash handouts into statutory aid.
“GST will be abolished gradually and replaced with a sales tax according to the people’s will,” he said in his speech at PPBM’s launch here, without elaborating further.
Even before he could finish his remark on the GST’s abolishment, the red-clad crowd erupted into loud cheers of “Hidup Tun!” (long live Tun) as soon as they heard the word “abolished”.
The cheers were more subdued, however, when he repeated his words and completed his remark.
Dr Mahathir also declared that PPBM along with other opposition parties would form a “clean” government—especially in terms of elections—with various reforms to be carried out.
He said this new government would ensure that no bribes would be given out in any form to voters to gain support during elections.
“If it is found that BR1M is important, then this money will be distributed by government servants. BR1M cannot be included in any party’s’ manifesto.
“If it is agreed by the people, BR1M will become a statutory aid that is determined by laws and ordinary budget. The prime minister cannot determine its distribution or the amount, or the way it is given,” he added.
Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) was first introduced in 2012 as subsistence direct to the target group, which is the B40, upon Federal Government’s rationalisation and reform on subsidies and economic transformation program. It was an idea mooted by Bank Negara, during the days of ‘laboratories’ created when Prime Minister Najib’s administration was preparing on new policies and economic and government transformation in 2010.
The program, now is categorised by different group of recepients.
Dr Mahathir attacked BR1M as a form of ‘bribe’ by Prime Minister Najib, to get the B40 supporting BN.
Inadvertently, Dr Mahathir acknowledged the transformation that has been introduced by Prime Minister Najib did brought positive effect for the rakyat. And now, he wants BR1M to be tweaked into statutory.
The fact is that he is running out of issues to rubbish Prime Minister Najib, considering many of the latter’s policies and strategic initiatives have brought positive result which the rakyat has been benefitting.
How his Opposition ‘Barisan Rakyat’ would try to mitigate the grave short fall in Federal Government coffer for operating budget by RM40 billion plus per annum by abolishing the consumption tax is not clear at this time. It is doubtful that it could be supplemented even if the Opposition whipped up IRB, Royal Customs and Local Authorities to generate RM40 billion plus that is collected annually under GST.
So far consumption tax in the form of GST is the fairest system of collecting revenue from the rakyat’s consumption of goods and services, without imposing higher personal income tax or any introduction of new taxes.
Globally, consumption tax has been proven to work in most economies, be it modern and developed or the struggling under-developed ones.