Restoring Gst Means Ph Admitted Guan Eng Messed Up The Economy
Another Brick in the Wall
For three years in a row – May 1st 2014 and 2015, and April 2nd 2016, Pakatan Rakyat supporters held an anti-GST rally.
Thoughout the GE 14 campaign, GST was the main and most impactful political weapon of mass destruction for Pakatan Harapan to demolish the then ruling Barisan Nasional.
Few Ministers, including Prime Minister recently admitted rising prices was a result of profiteering along the supply chain, but back then GST was blamed for price increases. Now that the system has reverted to SST, prices increased even more and rapidly.
Mahathir was sworn in as PM on May 10, 2018. He then appointed Lim Guan Eng as Finance Minister on May 13. He was supposed to be cleared off corruption case first but sworn in on May 21st. Subsequently, Tommy Thomas-engineered acquital was official on September 3rd.
Understandably, PH has to deliver on this promise.
Guan Eng abolished GST single handedly
Before Guan Eng was sworn, Finance Ministry announced to zero-rise GST starting for June 1st on May 16th. Guan Eng could evade the responsibility, but the civil servant would not announced it having known the Finance Minister was appointed.
To save the government the embarassment for the “unauthorised” announcement, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz made the famous “No turning back” statement.
There was a defenisve tone when she said, “So we know from the starting point that it has been decided, there’s no question about it. The issue is how it is going to be accomplished.”
Guan Eng made a decision ahead of the PM and before cabinet formed to announce abolishment of GST.
Mahathir’s plan was to zero-rise, but not abolish it yet. Government was supposed to size up the situation first before reintroducing SST. Apparently, the plan was to maintain GST but at a lower rate of 3% instead of 6%.
That could be why Zeti said, “We will tell how GST can be abolished in 100 days.”
When Guan Eng made the announcement, the government was not prepared, had no sufficient understanding on the implication and likely not sure of the financial impact on government.
He did not look for a long term solution but purely playing to the political gallery. An early sign of incompetency Mahathir chose to ignore.
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