‘There has never been an audit either of past budgets delivery outcomes except the usual Auditor Generals reports which is a horror reading with filled with incompetence and villains but no arrests?’
REVISITING GST & CURRENT ISSUES – A MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC PERSPECTIVE BY PROF DR JACOB GEORGE
Looking at the present Malaysian scenario which I have predicted will be challenged in 2022, I humbly believe any wild or ambitious argument that Malaysia should re-implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) because other counties already have is not right!
We were there once and it was chaotic!
‘Right hand not knowing what the left was doing’ much like what is happening currently?
First because the rates were high instead of just less than 3% which I had advised!
Then with the political backlash there was a hasty retreat like many other episodes initiated by unintelligent politicians and hangers-on?
May I point out that the UN conference on Trade and Development Report 2012 had revealed in its report that the GST was more regressive in developing and transition economies than in developed counties.
Basically, I am not worried about the gravy train followers, cronies or those politically connected to the powers that be, those leading bourgeoisie lifestyles – ‘kehidupan glamour’ – you know who you are – I am worried more so now of the low- and middle-income earners, the B and M40s, individuals like me, senior citizens, with no pensions, doing pro-bono work to keep body, mind and spirit alert in trying times, who will lose a higher percentage of their income, or limited savings in my case, to pay for the GST compared with high-income earners!
And hello the transformation ‘gurus and their mantras’ – that listed out countries such as Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Cambodia to justify GST in Malaysia is also completely unsuitable because those nations do not have a good income tax system in place and their production is low.
The fact remains that Malaysia’s operating Budget is like a runaway train and is unstoppable.
Year in year out the administrative expenses is going up by at least 10% or more!
There has never been an audit either of past budgets delivery outcomes except the usual Auditor Generals reports which is a horror reading with villains but no arrests?
How much can GST help the Malaysian administration fill up the coffer and at tail end of the day it will still be unable to stop this runaway train unless the government is dead serious is converting the civil service pension to EPF contribution and curtailed on the increase in manpower intake into the civil service/public sector workforce.
You cannot continue using the civil service in its current employment obesity as a vote base!
And we know that change or transformation will never happen based on the conversation for example the one on Malaysian Airlines despite massive losses and an embarrassment to the history of aviation and administration let alone of inflated contracts that cannot be challenged?
Sink or swim the old failed methodology seems still preferred by those incompetent?
Coming back to the civil service – we are probably one of the top nations in the world today with the highest number of civil service workforce against our total national population headcount.
We have yet to make or create jobs in the private and commercial sector by making our tax rate amongst the most competitive in the region or in Asia and the business environment more open, zero corruption and less bureaucratic and the invasion of religion into the day to day lifestyles of citizens irrespective of one’s racial and religious backgrounds!
Moderation seems lost in the current environment.
True – the GST may bring in an additional RM7.0 billion but the increase in the budget spending and other seepage had gone up many folds of the additional income to be generated.
Can someone tell me how can we balance the books?
In the present hostile, chaotic political environment and fragile threatening race relationships and attacks on minorities any myth of a high income nation is simply ridiculous.
More so with the imponderables all around us in the current pandemic eco-system and the worsening of race relations, possible capital flight and migration of our finest and best brains to a more democratic and merit based society abroad.
In many societies specifically in other jurisdictions like ASEAN and APEC there are serious discussions of brave and daring recalibration to face the challenges.
Many countries in the neighborhood are doing far better than us.
They have returned to their drawing boards on policy.
Most have embarked on a food security investment never seen before.
These governments know that at the end of the day hungry people must have access to value for money food!
And they were once behind us!
Here there is fear to face the truth and change!
Here everything is racial, religious and so politically mined.
There are attempts to take Malaysia back a hundred years to be like failed states Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, several West Asian and African states with serious hostile, radical violent even theological belief unsustainable in any moderate and progressive political Eco-system.
May the ALMIGHTY help us as we go into 2022!