SHAH ALAM: The public should learn and understand details of the incoming Goods and Services Tax (GST) before criticising it, said Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.
"Don't just dismiss it arbitrarily. The basis for the tax is to benefit the people. Go to the Customs website and read up, and make your decision based on facts and knowledge," said the Public Accounts Committee Chairman.
Nur Jazlan, who spoke at the GST: Who Wins, Who Loses forum here, added that the implementation of GST did not make a government a good or bad one.
"The responsibility of a government is to spend money responsibly," he said.
The Pulai MP added that under the current Sales and Services Tax (SST), unscrupulous business owners could still evade paying taxes, something that cannot be done after the GST is implemented on April 1, 2015.
"Its structure is computerised, linking all shop-owners, businesses and factories so they will be registered and any evasions detected. No one can escape it anymore," said Nur Jazlan.
However, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) deputy president Muhammad Sha'ani Abdullah said that Fomca supported GST, but added that the Government had to overcome certain problems first.
"The Government must be effective and transparent in handling discrepancies, abuses of power and corruption," said Muhammad Sha'ani.
He added that the implementation of GST required this, as he alleged that the level of inefficiencies and discrepancies in Government were "so high".
Meanwhile, PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli was opposed to the implementation of GST, which he argued would place a heavy burden on Malaysians.
"Why does the Government have to impose a new tax at a time when the rakyat is being burdened with rising prices and subsidy withdrawals?" asked the Pandan MP.
He said that he had called on the Government during Parliament sessions to impose taxes that targeted the rich, such as Capital Gains Tax and Windfall Tax.
"Under GST, the poor who were previously exempt from paying taxes will now have to pay taxes," said Rafizi.
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