GST proves to be unpopular topic at Workers’ Day gathering in Kuching 2015
KUCHING, May 1 — At a national-level Workers’ Day gathering here, the prime minister got a first-hand feel of how unpopular the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak was booed when he touched briefly on the GST when addressing the crowd at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) today.
“The GST is for the good of the country’s development,” he said. This was immediately greeted by boos from some workers in the back of the hall.
Unperturbed, Najib carried on with his speech.
“We have no intention to burden the people. We are always looking at ways and means to help them,” he said, adding the government would take care of the welfare of the workers in the country accordingly.
“If our country is getting wealthy and our national income increases, we want all workers to benefit.
“Without the role played by the workers, our country will not succeed or become more wealthy,” he said.
Asked to comment on the behaviour of the workers later, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot said, “The word GST, I think, is very unpopular with the people, but the blame must be on the traders for the rise in prices of many goods.”
He said over 2,000 goods are not covered by GST, but the traders charged six per cent GST across the board on all goods.
“My point is that GST is a good policy, but the traders are manipulating it to make more profit, even on goods which are not covered by GST,” he said.
He felt that the government, especially the Customs Department, needs to explain more on the implementation of GST.
“But then again, no amount of explanation will be enough as long as the traders continue to manipulate GST to make more profits,” he said.