Think before you speak, Utusan tells Ahmad Maslan

Utusan Malaysia has cautioned Datuk Ahmad Maslan to stop stirring up controversy with his statements, in the wake of his appointment as the deputy international trade and industry minister. Writing under the pseudonym Awang Selamat, the Umno-owned broadsheet's editors offered Ahmad their congratulations and quickly reminded the former deputy finance minister that leaders must be wise in managing perception. "Many admit that he is dedicated, hardworking and committed. But for ministers and deputy ministers, especially in this difficult era, being working hard is not enough," wrote Awang in his column published today in Mingguan Malaysia, the weekend edition of Utusan Malaysia. "Hopefully Ahmad will learn from his previous experience, when he often triggered controversy with his statements. He must be more careful before speaking, and take into account the implication it has on the government and public." Ahmad has courted scorn and ridicule on the Internet over his attempts to explain to the public how the unpopular goods and services tax (GST) worked. His advice to undergraduates to cook their own food to avoid GST, his GST-free fried rice recipes shared over Twitter, and the confusion over GST on mobile prepaid cards had irked many Malaysians. He also addressed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed's criticism of GST by calling the former prime minister an "old man" who must learn more about the new tax system. Many dubbed Ahmad "CGPA 3.85", after he wrote on Twitter that he was not so stupid as he had earned a 3.85 CGPA from his Master of Business Administration in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. The public outcry against Ahmad prompted him to declare that he was "the most hated person in Malaysia because of GST" during a speech in Kuala Lumpur on May 13. – August 2, 2015.

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