Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA) together with student organizations oppose the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and urge the government to focus on improving the country’s economy rather than peeping at the people’s pocket.
The coming Parliament sitting will have second reading on GST bill. Thus, the student organizations strongly oppose the implementation of GST because it will further burden the people. At the present, there are 85% of the people who are not paying income tax. If GST is implemented, the lower and middle income group will be affected. Besides that, the student groups also doubt that the government will be able to have an effective refund system. If the system does not function well, the business companies will face cash flow problem.
Compared to the economy growth at 4.6% in year 2008, last year our economy contracted at 1.7%. Meanwhile, according to UBS Securities Report, Malaysia suffered from the biggest foreign exchange reserve loss among Asian countries in year 2009. To add more on the economical fact, our FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) has dropped from 46 billion ringgit in 2008 to 12.2 billion ringgit in 2209. Even the local investment has been driven out from our country. 117 billion ringgit has been withdrawn from Malaysia in 2008 and the withdrawal reached 54 billion ringgit in the first half of 2009.
Therefore, the government should do whatever it can at best to create a convincing investment environment. To convince the investors, we must start with a series of reform in public servicing, judicial system, police and higher education institutions to counter the problem of lacking of skillful workforce and efficiency problem caused by cronies of the government. Peeping at the people’s pocket should never happen, especially when fundamental problems are not solved. The worst thing that a government will do is to implement GST when the people are not affording it and the last thing that a good government will do is to implement a policy without proper planning and understanding the people’s will.
DEMA and all the student organizations would like to call for the people to join the Anti-GST Protest organized by PROTES on 15 March at the Parliament. The impacts of GST will hit a wide range of people from all races and all classes of the society. Thus, everyone should walk hand in hand to express our thoughts on this bill, so that the leaders of the country would understand the worry and burden felt by the people.
Lastly, the student groups hope that the government will put the people’s will ahead of everything and do not implement GST, knowing that there is a huge public outcry. The government should be proactive in solving fundamental problems like corruption, safety and racial religious dispute, in order to help the people to walk out from the nightmare of poverty and hardship.