‘Soda tax’ merely suggestion to increase revenue, Pua clarifies

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Damansara MP Tony Pua speaks to reporters at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 16, 2018. ― Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — Damansara MP Tony Pua has downplayed his remark over implementing a “soda tax” to encourage healthier lifestyles, saying it was merely one of the suggestions to increase government revenue.

The special officer to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said it was just his personal suggestion, adding that no concrete decision has been made yet by the government at this juncture.  

“It was just a suggestion. The government is currently considering all options in order to increase their revenue,” he told reporters at the Parliament here.

This follows reports quoting Pua saying in a TV3 talk show that such a tax would benefit the government, and would not affect the poor households as they do not need to drink soft drinks.

However, Pua later said he was not in the position to comment exclusively on behalf of the ministry, saying it such decisions would be left to the government

“It was one of my options, one of it. But I have no power to speak on behalf of the ministry.

“But the ministry is mulling all sorts of things,” he said without elaborating.  

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