Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan says if Pakatan Harapan decides to revive the abolished Goods and Services Tax (GST), he will volunteer to be a consultant – free of charge.
“If the GST is brought back, I can be their free-of-charge consultant. I can go around organising ceramah and explain the benefits of GST to the people,” the former deputy international trade and industry minister told reporters during a press conference at Parliament lobby on Monday (Oct 7).
The Pontian MP said the government should consider the proposal by the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) to re-introduce GST in Budget 2020.
“I’m confident that the 170 countries implementing the GST are not wrong,” he said.
He said the Government had erred by reverting to the Sales and Service Tax (SST) as it was an “ancient” system that was “not transparent” and promoted a “black economy”.
He was referring to former Customs Department director-general Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy, who was quoted as saying last year that there was a “black economy” under the SST.
Ahmad said that the SST only managed to collect about RM23bil compared to RM44bil annually under the GST.
“Some say that the GST is regressive – but I want to state that it is progressive because those with high income will contribute more,” he added.
Last week, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said any decision to revive the GST would have to be made by the Pakatan presidential council.
Until then, Lim had said, the mandate given by the people who voted for Pakatan to abolish GST should be respected.