Malaysiakini News

GST, more taxes, won’t save country from mismanagement

P Ramasamy  |  Published:  |  Modified:

ADUN SPEAKS | Before Finance Ministry secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah goes on to justify the need to impose the GST, highway tolls, National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loans and other duties on goods and services, I would like to know why the government of the day is in such a bad or horrible financial situation in the first place.

Surely the rakyat would like to know the reasons for the imposition of these financial burdens, let alone justify the reasons for them. For heaven's sake, do not say that since other countries have similar taxes, it is alright for the government to impose them. This convoluted and insane logic has to stop.

Just because Irwan spent many years in the Finance Ministry, it does not qualify him to justify the imposition of these burdens. He might be a civil servant who is good in explaining what he had been directed to do by politicians, but surely he shouldn’t pretend that he has the answers to rectify the situation.

I am sure that he knows that without the financial mismanagement resulting in hundreds of shady deals, the country’s financial position would not be in such a bad state. In others words, BN cannot mess up the economic situation and yet expect the rakyat to shoulder the burden.

We don't need the likes of Irwan to tell us why we need these financial impositions, and that without them the country’s financial position would be compromised. What gives him the confidence to say that the country's financial position is still intact and taxes have to be paid?

Over the years, made much more worse by the present regime, the country has been basically looted of its resources through a combination of mismanagement, massive scandals, corruption, illegal payoffs.

The alleged looting of Malaysia's sovereign fund 1MDB was the highlight of the colossal nature of corruption that involved leading politicians, their relatives and friends not just at the domestic level, but at the international level. Even foreign countries are investigating the transfer of funds and illicit purchase of luxury items costing the Malaysian taxpayers billions of ringgit.

‘BN’s own mess’

The BN regime under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak is basically responsible for the current financial mess. How the country is going to ride this mess is a question in the minds of concerned Malaysians, opposition parties and some foreign governments.

This is the reason why the BN regime's hold on power is no more tenable, and this is the reason why the opposition front is at pains to inform Malaysians that they have no choice but to get rid of this corruption-infested government in the coming general election.

I think Irwan, given his opportunistic shortsightedness, thinks that taxes such as the GST or tolls on highways will help to heal the country of its deep economic malaise. He is terribly wrong.

There is already writing on the wall that these financial impositions might not save the government in power. Sorry to say, by trying to save the ruling party, Irwan might be merely prolonging its stay for a major catastrophe to unfold.

P RAMASAMY is Penang deputy chief minister and Perai state assemblyperson.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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