Malaysia not bankrupt without GST, Najib told

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KUALA LUMPUR — The Pakatan Harapan government has made good on its electoral promise to repeal the Goods and Services Tax (GST) without bankrupting the country, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said yesterday.

He was responding to his predecessor and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s doomsday prediction that dropping the six per cent GST would harm Malaysia’s financial position.

“The ‘Malaysia Baru’ government has delivered on our promise to abolish the GST. Warnings by the previous government that Malaysia would go bankrupt without the GST did not materialise,” Lim said.

He said the PH administration even went one step better by providing cash aid to the bottom 40 per cent of wage earners nationwide who needed it under its renamed and streamlined programme called Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH).

Lim pointed out to Najib the new administration will even pay out an estimated RM1.6 billion under the BSH programme to 4.1 million people in its targeted group from Wednesday, a week before Hari Raya Korban.

He said the new government under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was helping the B40 group by fixing RON95 grade petrol and diesel prices at RM2.20 and RM2.28 per litre, respectively, instead of following the weekly float system undertaken by the Najib administration.

Lim said the fuel subsidy, to go on till year-end, costs the government roughly RM3 billion.