ALOR STAR: Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) proposal to abolish the Item and Services Tax (GST) and highway concessions are populist acts meant to draw assistance in the 14th General Election (GE14), Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah said today.He said ironically, the plan to abolish the toll collections originated from a former prime minister which throughout his tenure saw the most variety of approvals of highway concessions.Bashah said it appeared
uncomfortable that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was championing the cause to eliminate toll collections in the country when many of the highway concessions have actually been authorized during his 22 years of management.”We all understand that many of the highway concessions were approved when Tun Mahathir was in power and it is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who has actually taken the proactive relocation to end toll charges at several toll plazas to ease the people’s burden.” In fact, the continuous Pan Borneo Highway is a clear example of how a toll-free expressway task is being developed under Najib’s administration. “For this reason, the people can evaluate for themselves why just now that Tun Mahathir decided to come up with such offers, just to
guarantee he restores power,”he said after handing over the keys to a brand-new home to a Lubuk Peringgi household, whose house was destroyed by a storm.Bashah included that PH’s strategy to abolish GST without a clear strategy to renew the approximated RM20 billion shortfall in the
nation’s coffers was another clear example of a populist act.He stated the opposition clearly does not have a technique to counter the losses in government earnings upon eliminating the usage tax, aside from recommending the reintroduction of the Sales and Solutions Tax( SST). Describing the relocation as a step backward, Bashah said the GST has shown to be a more transparent and reliable
consumption tax system, which also excuses a long list of standard goods taken in by lower income earners.”Clearly, the opposition is simply trying to whip up support for GE14.”The GST is shown to be the right consumption tax system which
has actually been implemented in numerous countries,(consisting of )Saudi Arabia,”he said.Bashah was responding to Dr Mahathir’s speech throughout a rally in Guar Chempedak, Yan, yesterday.The PH chairman had stated that the coalition would eliminate the GST if the pact were to come into power after GE14.However, the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia(PPBM )chairman did not elaborate on the strategy, nor address an inquiry just recently presented
by the World Bank on how it would make up for the deficit in government profits.