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Thursday, April 30, 2015

P. Pauh: Angry BN voters blame GST for high prices

Pakatan Rakyat campaigners have succeeded in convincing voters that GST alone is to blame for the hike in prices, not profiteering businesspeople.
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PERMATANG PAUH: Barisan Nasional is facing an uphill battle trying to explain the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to their supporters in the Permatang Pauh by-election.
BN election campaigners said most people either did not understand or refused to accept that the current hike in prices of goods and services was due to profiteering businessmen and not the GST.
They said that voters refused to try and comprehend the fact that many businesspeople had actually hiked up the prices of their goods prior to the implementation of the new taxation system in order to reap a profit from it now.
They said many people kept asking why the prices were not going down when the 6% GST was supposed to replace the previous 10% SST (Sales and Services Tax).
BN also admitted that the Pakatan Rakyat by-election machinery had succeeded in convincing most voters that the GST alone was to blame.
“The people simply blame GST for all price hikes. No doubt we are facing a tough time to make them understand the truth,” said the workers.
When contacted, PPP Penang Youth chief P Thaiyalan Pillay acknowledged that GST was undoubtedly BN’s biggest obstacle in the by-election.
Echoing the words of BN campaigners, he too alleged that businesspeople, especially retailers, had deliberately hiked up prices during the pre-GST period in order to profit now.
He said these unscrupulous people were now blaming GST to cover up their unethical business tricks.
“They capitalised on GST to hike up prices to maintain their huge profit margin and burden the people.
“Pakatan plays the same political game to fish votes even though the coalition leaders know that irresponsible and profiteering businessmen were to be blamed,” said Thaiyalan.
He pointed out that PR campaigners were spinning the issue on the GST to gain political mileage despite Parliamentary Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim himself supporting the tax system in October last year.
He also said that another reason why BN was facing difficulties in explaining the GST was because it was still in the early stages of implementation.
However, he did not think that Permatang Pauh voters would overwhelmingly cast anti-GST votes against BN.
He expressed confidence that BN would be able to explain GST and make people understand it fully before the main polling day on May 7.
“We have to work harder to make the voters understand the importance and benefits of GST.
“We must make people understand that GST cannot be blamed for the price hike.
“We also have to explain that some prices (of goods and services) have actually gone down due to GST and the repeal of SST,” said Thaiyalan.
Early voting is on May 3.
In the by-election, PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who held Permatang Pauh MP between 1999 and mid-2008, will face BN candidate from Umno Suhaimi Sabudin, and two independents Salleh Isahak and Azman Shah Othman.
The by-election is being held after its incumbent MP and Wan Azizah’s husband Anwar lost his parliamentary status following his sodomy conviction.

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