What matters is income rises

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KOTA KINABALU: Malaysians will suffer — should the Goods and Services Tax (GST) be abolished and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad becomes Prime Minister again.

Stating this here yesterday, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Raymond Tan Shu Kiah reckoned that the name tag of tax is irrelevant and focus should be put on helping businesses prosper so employers can give better salaries to its employees in Sabah.

“If you (Mahathir) remove GST, don’t do SST (Sales and Services Tax). It is just changing names only. I am a bit worried also because if you remove GST, you come back with SST and then you reinstate the income tax level, that is also not good,” said Tan, who is state Industrial Development Minister.

“Let’s be honest. (If) you remove GST, are you saying that this country would have no tax? Mahathir will not accept that. Mahathir is very good in income tax and SST. That is his regime. So you change that into something else, he will bring it back to you what it was before.

“The most important thing is our pay, our income must go up. It is only when you pay (taxes) and your income doesn’t go up, you suffer. But if you pay and your income go up, then that is good,” he stressed during a press luncheon at the ministry’s office in Wisma Kewangan here yesterday.

Tan said businesses in Sabah should set targets for both company profit and employee increment structuring so that a certain percentage of profits can be shared with its workers.

He added that this formula is key and the government’s role is to lead by example as well as ensure that businesses are able to make profit.

Tan called upon the private sector and government-linked companies (GLCs) to emulate the government implemented method but expressed concern about its application within private companies.

“We are worried that when they are making money, they will say the same thing, no money,” he said.

“So we have to lead them by example, so we have to give them opportunities to make money.

“Because some of these bosses that have business with the government in particular, are aware the government have assisted the development of their businesses. They should have a structure that would help the workers,” he explained.

Tan also pointed out that law amendment could be an option and added that the Malaysian minimum wage had been government mandated for this instance.

“There is a way to manage the economy in a way that the people do not suffer than we fighting over issue, over what kind of tax. The bottom line is that people do not suffer, not what kind of tax,” he said.