Wednesday, April 1, 2015

GST is no April Fool Joke

So GST is no April Fool joke, after all. And the Goods and Services Tax takes effect today in Malaysia.
I am only concerned for those who are already struggling with their meager wages to sustain themselves and their families. Already, 40% of households are recipients of BR1M – that surely suggests that we are not ready to embrace GST. The burden will be heavy on these Malaysians.
[Note: BR1M or Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia is a cash-assistance government scheme to provide financial aid to the low income group in order to alleviate the burden of the ever-rising cost of living in the country].
The government have been telling us again and again that the GST is part of a broader plan by them to bring about a balanced budget without deficits by 2020. This is nothing but a misrepresentation.
We all know that the government have been overspending – and so, they are looking to dig into the rakyat’s pockets to raise more cash and hopefully, avoid taking on more debt.
I fear things are going to take a turn for the worst. The Government tabled a bill in parliament on Monday requesting approval for a supplementary budget worth RM4.1 billion ringgit for the current year.
I am expressing concern because it is just seven months after Budget 2014 was presented. I am told this is nothing to worry about because the amount requested is less than a third of last year’s supplementary bill of RM15.0 billion. In any case, the present government have been tabling at least two supplementary budgets every year since 2009.
My spending today started when I filled up my car with petrol. Fortunately, there is no GST for RON95. But everything else cost more because GST was included.

I object to GST only because the Najib government haven’t reformed enough to deserve fresh tax money. Given the state of our fragile economy, GST cannot possibly fix Putrajaya’s many problems.  

Yesterday evening at SS14, Subang Jaya, which adjoins Bandar Sunway. This explains why the roads in Bandar Sunway were terribly congested. Image credit: Leona Chin
On Tuesday, I braved heavy rains and drove through traffic-choked roads to get to Monash University Sunway just to attend the Monash Toastmasters meeting. The weather couldn’t dampen our spirits even if it tried. In fact, we had a good meeting. It helped that loads of energy infiltrated the meeting to make it fun.

And it was nice to see Toastmasters from Taylor’s College Subang and Sunway University there adding to the revelry. Speeches were a mixed bag though but the evaluations were good.  My favorite speaker is a Monash student but a member of KL Advanced Toastmasters Club. BTW, I was voted Best Evaluator. Overall, I would score this meeting a 7 over 10.

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