Issues relating to the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) will continue to be manipulated by the opposition to garner votes in the next general election, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said.
However, in reality, Najib said, the opposition wouldn't dare to abolish the GST as the system was proven systematic and has been adopted by more than 140 countries.
"The opposition knows that the GST cushions the drop in oil income. So, when they made a U-turn and supported the (implementation of the) GST, their supporters felt cheated.
"In haste, they called for the reduction of the GST rate from six percent to zero percent. This doesn't make sense. What's the point of implementing the system if no tax were collected?" he said in his blog najibrazak.com today.
In the posting titled "Prime Minister's Speech on Opposition's U-Turn on GST", Najib also questioned why the opposition did not dare to abolish the system in total.
The prime minister said the GST had increased the country's revenue and enabled public services to be provided, and helped Malaysia's economy to cope with the drop of the global crude oil prices.
As a matter of fact, he said, the country's annual revenue had declined by RM40 billion due to the drop in oil prices.
Without the RM40 billion in the annual budget, the government will not be able to pay the salaries of civil servants, build new schools and hospitals and cover the expenditure of the security forces, he said.
Najib said of late, several opposition leaders had been loud in expressing their intention to abolish the GST.
"Trust me, all they want to do if they rule the country is to cut by half the number of civil servants, teachers, doctors and security forces personnel, as well as the construction of new schools, mosques, roads, hospitals, health clinics and basic public services," he added.