Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Baru baffled by on-and-off decision on GST

Baru Bian

KUCHING: The fiasco with the on-and-off Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 60 items is just another sign of a nation that is sinking into the abyss of ruin, said state PKR chairman Baru Bian.

The Ba Kelalan assemblyman noted that the Customs Department had announced the tax and after heated condemnation on social media, the decision was reversed by the Finance Ministry on the same day on Monday.

“The Second Finance Minister (Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani) claimed that the approval of the Cabinet had not been sought. Now it appears that the decision was mooted at the last Dewan Rakyat session.

“Do the ministers know what is actually going on in this country? Do they care what is happening to the rakyat (people) and the burdens they bear?” Baru said to The Borneo Post yesterday.

He was commenting on Customs Department’s reversal of its decision to impose tax on some 60 food items which, if implemented, would be effective on July 1.

The decision to impose GST on these food items was gazetted on June 6, this year.

The Goods and Services Tax (zero-rated supply) (Amendment) (No 2) Order 2017 Section 17 has allowed the Customs Department and the Finance Ministry to remove more than 60 food items from the zero-rated list.

The list of food items included seafood such as eel and swordfish; frozen vegetables such as corn; imported fruits such as grapes, avocados, peaches and plums; beverages such as tea, coffee and other foodstuff like spices, coconut oil and ‘laksa’ as well as ‘kueh tiaw’.

Baru said imposing more taxes on the already burdened people is not a decision to be taken lightly, but Monday’s events gave the people the impression that “those who sit in Putrajaya care not one jolt about ordinary people”.

“Who can forget that the prime minister declared GST to be the saviour of Malaysia? Who doesn’t know that the only reason Malaysia needs saving is because of the gross and obscene corruption in the BN government that has rendered us as good as bankrupt and in need of saving?”

In stating that the citizens of Malaysia must make their disgust known at the ballot box, Baru said the Titanic was proudly proclaimed to be unsinkable but sank it did.

~ Borneo Post

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