KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 – Just days after after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad gave Malaysians who voted for Pakatan Harapan the reality check that tolls cannot be abolished, today Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng denied claiming that the Sales and Services Tax (SST) imposed by the new government from September would bring the price of goods down.
The PH had promised in its 14th general election manifesto that should it form the government, it would abolish tolls as well as the goods and services tax which had been a burden on the people and was blamed for skyrocketing prices.
After taking over the government in May, PH succeeded in doing the latter but later introduced the SST. However, there has not been any drop in prices for essential items and on most day to day purchases by the people.
Lim: Port Dickson result shows who the people believe
Umno’s Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the Barisan Nasional MP for Bera, criticised the implementation of SST as not helping to reduce prices “as promised”.
Lim took offence to the comment, demanding to know when and where he had promised that prices would drop with the implementation of the SST.
Instead he used the results of the Port Dickson by-election to then accuse Sabri of making false allegations.
“The PD by-election results proves who are the ones behind such malicious lies that have no basis against the government.
“I will stress here once again that the government did not make any guarantees in the past parliamentary session that the SST will not cause prices to increase.
“I have mentioned this before and I will ask again, show me the proof of where I said such SST will see prices drop. If you cannot, then stop making unfounded allegations,” Lim was reported to have said, according to FMT.
MPs taunt Guan Eng, ask for Anwar to take over
Ironically, Lim’s reference to the PD by-election results, may have backfired on him.
During the ruckus in the august house as the war of words continued between Lim and Ismail as well as other opposition MPs, some of these MPs started taunting Lim by calling for newly-elected Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to take over as Finance Minister.
PH taking the people for a ride, says Najib
Meanwhile, ousted prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak took to social media to accuse Lim and the PH government of taking the people for a ride.
Writing on his Facebook page, Najib said prior to the 14th general election, PH had launched “hundreds of ceramah and propaganda” claiming that replacing the GST with the SST would bring down the prices of goods.
“Before GE14, thousands went out to the streets, hundreds of ceramah and propaganda claiming that abolishing the GST and returning to the SST would drop prices.
“Now, it’s not so. Worse still is that PH claims they never made those promises.
“If not to reduce the price of goods, why insist on abolishing the GST, which is more transparent, and return to the SST, which has so many weaknesses?” Najib asked.