Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong has challenged his likely rival from MCA to declare his support for GST to voters in the Johor constituency.
In his speech yesterday, Liew ticked former deputy minister Gan Ping Sieu for calling promises made by politicians – including those from Pakatan Harapan promising to abolish the consumption tax – unrealistic.
Gan has been earmarked to contest in the Kluang parliamentary seat, while MCA's Chin Sim Lai will take on the Mengkibol state seat.
“I would like Gan to openly state his support for the continued implementation of GST and justify it to voters of Kluang.
“To claim that the market would collapse and government’s finances would be adversely affected just because GST is abolished, but not talking about the grand corruption and mega wastage of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's government, is mere propaganda without much basis,” said Liew.
The DAP lawmaker said Malaysians are suffering a combined impact GST's implementation in April 2015 and the weakening ringgit, which has been on the decline since October 2014, amid the slashing of government funding for healthcare, education, higher education and welfare.
Numerous subsidies, he said, have also been abolished since 2014.
“More Johoreans, including many from Kluang, have been forced to seek work in Singapore since the last election.
“200,000 Malaysians commute across the Causeway for work in 2013; now it is estimated at 300,000 daily.
“This is a reflection of the failure of Najib’s economic governance. The saddest problem is that the Najib government has no understanding of the plight of ordinary Malaysians,” said Liew.
Speaking on behalf of his NGO Centre For A Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) yesterday, Gan (photo) called on politicians from both sides of the political divide to stop making “populist” and “unrealistic” promises.
He said they should instead come up with “sustainable, out-of-the-box solutions, and not engage in one-upmanship that can lead us down a slippery slope of socio-economic devastation.”
While the MCA leader did not specify any party in particular, his examples made reference to some of Harapan's pet issues, such as the removal of GST and highway tolls, and the reintroduction of fuel subsidies.
Ironically, Najib has also jumped on the bandwagon advocating abolishing tolls, which the prime minister blamed wholesale on his “predecessor.”
Liew said Gan stood for “every policy failure of the Najib government.”
“The Malaysian economy needs new impetus and a new government that cares and works for ordinary Malaysians,” he said.