Thursday, February 25, 2010

Of GST : Poor man's sacrifice, Rich man's bonus...

Selangor has initiated the public forum on GST and I believe the other PR-led states will follow suit. When will the federal government comes up with its own GST public forum? Don't whisper to me and say that the government's public forum is held in private and upon "invitation only". If that is the case then Putrajaya will be hosting a new batch of administrators after GE 13....BN don't want that to happen, do they?


On 24th February 2010, Selangor state government organised a public forum "Implikasi GST kepada rakyat". Let me say that the forum was well attended and the panel of speakers come prepared.

GST (Good & service Tax) is another BN-initiated move to tax the masses and is expected to be enforced by middle of 2011. From the forum, PR's stand of opposing the timing and wisdom of introducing GST is made clear through pamplet, audio and visual aid. Some of the issues raised are :-

  1. GST will affect all 12 million workers in both public and private sectors, regardless of their income level;
  2. The Government claimed that GST will add another RM 1.7B to the government's coffers and the total income through tax to be around RM 13 B. What the government failed to explained is that through GST and its implementation, the workers will have to absorb the cost of RM 6.7 B (1.7B from GST, 1.4B to offset the savings to exporters, 3.6B to offset the cost charged by accountants/tax consultants);
  3. If 12 million workers has to absorb the cost of RM 6.7B, each worker will effective have to pay RM 558.33 through purchase of goods, loss of subsidies, increase in cost;
  4. To put GST in place, Australia spends Aus 5B and Canada spends USD 5B and both of them started GST 10 years ago. That said, it is quite amazing to see how the Government claimed that they only need RM 200 M to put GST inplace. Have they considered training, consulting costs, logistics, paperwork, hardwares and softwares?;
  5. For other countries, they have placed and stabilised anti-profiteering act before thay put GST in place. Malaysia, being a super country in the world that may have the only submarine that cannot dive (maybe it now can dive for how long?) plans to introduce both anti-profiteering act and GST at the same time. How can that be done when the enforcement officers needs training on anti-profiteering act (no need to take the problems of corruption into account) and to enforce the act whilst at the same time GST will be in place?;
  6. Noted that the government are cash-strapped (due to both domestic and foreign loans), there are still other avenues where the government can earn RM 1.7B without burdening the rakyats viz the workers. Examples given are to study the toll concessionaires, IPP rates (and may I add to minimise 1MPM6's penchant of "throwing money" when visiting places eg Sabah, sarawak, juara rakyat);
  7. Will the government stop practising "negotiated" tender which has cost Malaysians dearly such as the RM 12B PKFZ, the delayed double tracking project, the abandoned crooked bridge etc?. If they forego the negotiated tender (and contracts), we may have the extra RM 1.8 B to spend for the country's expenditure;
  8. BN will not enforce GST before GE 13 for obvious reasons;
  9. By using GST rate of 4 % as an example, a worker earning RM 1,000 (and spending RM 900) will pay an effective tax of 3 % of his total salary whilst an CEO with take home pay of RM 20,000 (and spending RM 10,000) will only pay an effective tax of 2 %. That means that GST is not people friendly and will be a poor man's sacrifice and a rich man's bonus;
  10. It is also quoted that the world bank reports that the effective salary increase for Malaysian workers for the past 10 years is only 2 % (the rest being gobbled by inflation);
  11. The present Malaysian model did not generate a population with high middle income group and the Malaysian model is not ready to implement GST;
Now that the issues (well, not all but some of the points) have been listed down, what do I expect from the "other side". Not much really, just :-
  1. Will Rais "I burnt the bridge" Yatim comes up with another set of MSM ads to counter the forum? This will be a better reason for him to whip up an ad because GST affects all, not just 12 million workers but also their dependents;
  2. Will the Government list down how they come up with the magic figure of RM 200 M to put GST in place. Have they thought up everything or RM 200 M is just the tip of the iceberg?;
  3. What are the government plans to reduce expenditures apart from cutting the budget for schools (which affects our children)? How much can the government further save through "imtelligent" planning?;
  4. What are the government plans to stop profiteering if the profiteering act is not in place (at least 3 years) before the GST?;
  5. 1MPM6 calls for austerity when he first took office. Is the austerity drive still on? I did not see it anymore. Examples of 1MPM6's trips to Sarawak, Sabah and Pekan is there for everyone to see that 1MPM6 is "splashing" money (our money) around to build his reputation;
  6. Will the Government go for another road show to bare the facts to the rakyats on the actual scourge of GST? Not the goody-goody part but the hard facts for everyone to see? If they do have that in mind, when will it happen?
  7. Is GST a testimonial of 1MPM6's slogan of "rakyat didahulukan"? I mean the rakyats are being led to be "slaughtered" first? What of "Pencapaian diutamakan"? What Pencapaian is related to GST?
Selangor has initiated the public forum on GST and I believe the other PR-led states will follow suit. When will the federal government comes up with its own GST public forum? Don't whisper to me and say that the government's public forum is held in private and upon "invitation only". If that is the case then Putrajaya will be hosting a new batch of administrators after GE 13....BN don't want that to happen, do they?

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...

3 comments:

ahoo said...

We have to wake up to reality that the current batch of law makers from the ruling parties in Parliament is taking everyone for a long cold ride.

No clear cut transparency and accountability is there. Where are all those tax payers monies ? What about all those corporate taxes ? Who have the final say as to allocation of its funds ? Why is the funding to non BN states not forthcoming when they too contributed to federal govt on taxes ?

Well, this kind of politics are dangerous as it allows corruption to manifest everywhere as warlords are the king maker in this way. Now with the GST appearing on scene, where are the check and balance mode in ensuring that abuses are curbed.

With the general public earning much less than RM 3000 per month and not paying taxes, this GST taxed across the board will cause the lower wage earners to suffer.

Why must every form of collection of tax be entirely the right of Federal govt alone ? Taxes from states not govt by Bn can go in BUT not coming out and the people are victimised in the name of political games. This pure evil as we are afterall anak bangsa Malaysia whether political or apolitical. People first and performance now is still only a slogan. But I'm willing to wait for another year to see results.

We need the govt to take care of the poor first before talking about GST as it will directly have an inpact on their livelihood.

nightcaller said...

Ahoo

Our general public needs to be educated on the GST. Whether it will do us more good or not is not the matter but education need to be done so that all are informed of the effects of GST. If Khir Toyo seems to be at loss with GST, then what do u expect of average Joes?

Federal govt is much too happy if GST is not publicly discussed so that they can bulldoze the bill in parliament with new "BN-friendly" MPs, courtesy of PKR.

These MPs' don't care, as long as their pockets are filled, they don't give a hoot for the average Joes...u and me included. But that does not mean that we should accept GST lying down...do what we can to educate others....and in the process educate ourselves on the pros and cons of GST...

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