- POSTED: 19 Dec 2013 14:46
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Malaysia's opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat will be launching a nationwide campaign against the planned 2015 introduction of a goods and services tax (GST) in the country.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat will be launching a nationwide campaign against the planned 2015 introduction of a goods and services tax (GST) in the country.
It believes that corruption and the illicit outflow of money from the country needs to stop before the tax is imposed.
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said he has always been for the implementation of a goods and services tax in Malaysia, but only when the time is right.
Mr Anwar did not push for the tax during his time as finance minister in the 90s because he felt the people and the government were not ready for it then -- and he said the same applies now.
This puts him at odds with the International Monetary Fund, which on Monday lauded the government for choosing to introduce a 6 percent GST in April 2015.
Mr Anwar said: "They're saying it's timely because it's been deferred for far too long. But what they are not saying is stop the wastage, stop the leakages, stop the corruption, stop the outflow of funds as suggested in the GFI report.
"They must also be willing to suggest it, then okay you have the time frame."
Mr Anwar was referring to a recent study by research group Global Financial Integrity (GFI), where Malaysia was ranked fourth in the world for its illicit outflow of money -- due to crime, corruption and misreporting.
But the government has said that the GST is necessary to avoid bankruptcy. It stressed that the tax is important in reducing the country's fiscal deficit.
But the opposition maintains that until the system is cleaned up, a GST will be useless.
Pakatan Rakyat said it would launch a nationwide anti-GST campaign on Friday, called "Understand GST, Reject GST".
As part of the campaign, Mr Anwar's People's Justice Party has directed its MPs to organise GST 101 public lectures across the country.