KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 – The goods and services tax (GST) is a good system but tarnished by its mismanagement and poor implementation by the previous administration, an economist said today.
Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd’s chief economic researcher Wan Suhaimie Wan Mohd Saidie expressed hope that the tax system could be reintroduced, once the country’s economic situation improves.
He was responding to a comment made by economist Ramon Navaratnam, who said that it was a big mistake to abolish the GST.
“I think many of us share your views. Indeed, it is good for the government’s balance sheet. It is just that, on the implementation, the past administration’s mismanagement had tarnished it.
“So, I would sympathise with the current government because they promised to abolish GST, so they have to deliver.
“I believe one day it should go back to the GST. The question is when. When will the country be ready for that?” he said at post-budget debate organised by the Malaysian Economic Association today.
Also present were finance ministry’s national budget office director Johan Mahmood Merican, Malaysian Economic Association (MEA) president Norma Mansor, Sovereign Ratings S&P Global (Ratings) director Andrew Wood, finance ministry deputy undersecretary (fiscal and economics division) Mohd Hassan Ahmad and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) vice-chancellor Noor Azlan Ghazali.
Wan Suhaimie hopes that the government would be able to bring the GST back when the economy is in an upswing, maybe sometime after 2020 or 2021, or after a review of the country’s finances.