Not time to bring back GST, says Pua


Damansara MP Tony Pua

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia should not bring back the Goods and Services Tax (GST), says Damansara MP Tony Pua.

Takings from the Sales and Service Tax (SST) were not far from what was collected with GST, he said.

“The previous number that GST was collecting was wildly inflated because the amount of refunds was not truly reflected in these figures.

“The gap wasn’t that big, ” he told a webinar organised by Ideas.

He claimed that GST was known to be inequitable or taxed the poor more than it did the rich.

“That’s the position we are against. At such a time when income inequality is lessened in Malaysia, GST should be shelved indefinitely, ” he said, adding that there was no question that taxation needed to be reformed, and suggested that capital gains tax be introduced.

“Why is it that if I am rich and have lots of money, millions in the bank and make capital gains, I don’t get taxed for it?

“I know many people who earn income way in excess of a typical wage earner of RM5,000 to RM6,000 a month. They pay zero tax, ” he said, adding that he knew it from personal experience as well.

He said whenever capital gains tax was raised, the financial markets would go up in arms, saying that the stock market would be killed.

“There are plenty of countries with capital gains tax – Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom. And some of these countries are the most economically entrepreneurial in the global arena, ” he said, adding that the government could start small so people could get used to it.

“What we are taxing is your gains as a result of owning a massive amount of assets, ” he said, adding that it was a personal opinion.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said in March that the government would look into whether GST should be reinstated.

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