SHAH ALAM: Nurul Izzah Anwar’s statement that Pakatan Harapan will reduce the percentage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), should it come to power, has been misinterpreted, a PKR official said today.
She was actually saying that under Pakatan Harapan, the GST will be zero rated, not have its percentage reduced, as has been reported by the media – PKR Youth deputy chief Dr Afif Bahardin maintained.
Dr Afif was coming to the defence of Nurul Izzah, the party's vice president, who came under fire for reportedly changing the coalition's stance from wanting to abolish the GST outright, to maintaining it at a lower rate.
He insisted that Nurul Izzah had said “zero rated” during a ceramah in Tasek Gelugor, Penang, recently.
"The media has twisted her statement. I was there at the ceramah. What Nurul Izzah suggested was for it to be zero rated. We are talking about zero. The percentage is going from the current 6 per cent to zero per cent, right after we win the general election. It is almost the same as abolishing it.
"As you know, millions of ringgit was put into (developing) the GST system, and we cannot change it within days. So the system is going to be there, but we can immediately bring down the rate from 6 per cent to zero per cent.
"Some ministers, like (Datuk Seri) Rahman Dahlan, have criticised us, saying that we wanted to scrap it, but now we want to keep it. It is not about maintaining it. Our end goal is (to remove GST) imposed on the people, which is now at 6 per cent.
"So what we want to do is to have it zero rated immediately after we win the general election. Zero rated means no one has to pay the tax. (This will) ease the financial burden of the people," he added.
Dr Afif was met after launching the six-day Penang Agri Expo 2017 at Aeon Shah Alam, here.