PKR’s Wong Chen takes a Pakatan leader to task for ‘rewriting history’

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 16 Oct 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR’s Wong Chen took the floor at the Dewan Rakyat to slam an unnamed leader in Pakatan Harapan for allegedly rewriting history.

He said that during a Pakatan conference about two weeks ago, a certain politician claimed that he was the one who wrote extensively on the coalition’s policies and manifesto heading into the 14th General Election (GE14) last year.

“I’m ready to accept it if Rafizi Ramli’s hard work and mine is forgotten, but don’t whitewash and rewrite history, ” he said, referring to the PKR vice-president.

“Rewriting history is the work of communism in the Stalin era. So let me start my speech by putting on record Rafizi’s contributions in the Hansard, so that real history is properly recorded, ” he said when debating Budget 2020.

Wong also claimed that there was a “certain Pakatan leader” who ordered the removal of a proposal to lower the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to 3% from 6% in the coalition’s alternative budget when it was the Opposition in 2016.

The Subang MP, who was tasked with drafting the alternative budget, said he was ordered by this leader to replace the proposed 3% GST rate to 0% four hours before the book was unveiled.

At the time, 200 copies of Pakatan’s alternative budget had already been printed, he added.

“I still remember that all my officers and trainees had to rush to replace the figures from 3% to 0% in all of those 200 books.

“Following that, each year, I was ordered to defend the 0% GST policy, ” he said in Parliament on Wednesday (Oct 16).

When Pakatan took federal power after GE14, Wong said he was hoping that the GST would be decreased to 3%, followed by a detailed study for six months to see if the transition from GST to SST could take place smoothly.

“This is not a criticism against Pakatan or towards the SST, but in response to the Prime Minister’s remarks about the GST and SST (Sales and Service Tax), and we now live in a world where history can be rewritten by some.

“I should record my version of history, too, in the Hansard today, ” he said.

Wong, who’s also a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said he was responding to remarks made by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that government revenue collected from the SST is expected to surpass what was collected from the GST.

“On other days, the Prime Minister also said he was open to the idea of reviewing the GST procedure.

“Speaker, in a world where history can be rewritten and policies can change, I wish to put on record that the GST policy written by my office in 2016 was to lower the GST from 6% to 3%, ” he said.

Wong added that he was satisfied to see that the SST is expected to collect RM26.8bil in 2019, adding that it would continue to grow towards RM28.3bil by 2020.

“This shows that Pakatan has succeeded in increasing the initial SST target of RM22bil. This is very important because it gives a little bit of fiscal flexibility to the government, ” he said.

The GST was introduced on April 1,2015 at 6% but was replaced with the SST on Sept 1,2018.

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