GST a second ‘vampire bite’ for Sabahans

Friday, 15 November 2013

KOTA KINABALU: First time MP Jimmy Wong has likened the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as the second ‘vampire’ that will “Gigit Sampai Tulang” (bite to the bone) of the people of Sabah.

In his maiden Budget speech at Parliament, Wong said the first vampire was the Cabotage Policy which has been sucking the blood of the people for the last 33 years.

The only cure, he said, is to exempt Sabah from the GST as its citizens have the lowest purchasing power in the country.

Wong noted that the average monthly household income in Sabah in 2012 was only RM4,013 compared to the national average of RM5,000.

“In fact, if we take into consideration the cost of living in Sabah, which is about 30% higher than in Semenanjung, the household monthly income in Sabah is only about RM2,800.

“This makes Sabah as the state with the lowest purchasing power in the country, therefore I disagree for the GST to be implemented in Sabah,” said the Kota Kinabalu MP.

Wong also urged the government to abolish the Cabotage Policy that has been enforced in Sabah for 33 years and had been identified as the main factor for the higher price of goods in Sabah by as much as 20% to 30% more than in the peninsula.

“This Cabotage Policy has been like a vampire that has been sucking the blood from the people of Sabah.

“We can imagine what will happen to a person whose blood is being sucked continuously for more than 30 years,” he said.

Wong also said the government’s price standardisation programme had failed to lower the price of goods in Sabah because the actual issue that must be addressed is the Cabotage Policy.

“Coupled with the GST proposal to be implemented by April 2015 it means the people of Sabah are like “sudah jatuh di timpa tangga” (double trouble).

“GST and the Cabotage Policy will be very lethal to the people of Sabah’s economy. GST is a second vampire that will “Gigit Sampai Tulang” (bite to the bone) of every Sabahan,” he said.

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